A civil rights attorney representing the family of a man fatally shot by a Vallejo officer earlier this month is calling on the police department to release video of the shooting.
Sean Monterrosa, 22, of San Francisco was suspected of stealing from a pharmacy amid national protests. He was fatally shot after police mistook a hammer he had for a firearm.
"It's a pretty outrageous shooting," attorney John Burris said. "The officer's life was not in danger."
Burris, along with Monterrosa's family and friends, joined others demanding change for a rally and march Saturday afternoon from Vallejo City Hall to the police department.
“I think with the momentum that this nation has with the George Floyd case, I think everybody is ready to do something to demand changes,” said Lionel Michael, a Vallejo resident who helped organize Saturday’s demonstration.
“I’m taking advantage of that and trying to put it toward something positive, coming together and having our voices heard,” he said.
The police chief said he would release the footage. He has 45 days to do so.
The weekend rally came after the city approved an agreement with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to collaborate on a police reform plan aimed at increasing public trust.
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Monterrosa's was the first confirmed death at the hands of law enforcement in California related to stealing from stores during looting.
Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams said officers on June 2 were responding to calls involving a Walgreens when the shooting occurred.
Williams said police saw about a dozen people suspected of stealing in the parking lot of the store. One of the cars rammed into a police vehicle and prompted a wild chase, he said. At the same time, officers spotted Monterrosa near the building, with what appeared to be a weapon, he said.
“This individual appeared to be running toward the black sedan when suddenly he stopped, taking a kneeling position, and placing his hands above his waist, revealing what appeared to be the butt of a handgun,” Williams said.
An officer fired five times through a police car windshield, hitting Monterrosa once, Williams said. Monterrosa had a 15-inch hammer tucked into the pocket of his sweatshirt, the chief said.
The officer who shot Monterrosa is an 18-year veteran who has been placed on leave pending an investigation.