It’s been one year since the deadly police shooting of Sean Monterrosa in Vallejo. His family took part in a rally Sunday in San Francisco on his behalf along with community groups and other families impacted by police shootings.
“As we mark the one somber year anniversary, it’s important to us that you know who Sean was as a person," said Michelle Monterrosa, Sean's sister.
Michelle Monterrosa remembered Sean as a loving brother and son who cared about the community.
“Sean’s very last text message to us was to sign a petition to demand justice for George Floyd,” she added.
The 22-year-old was outside a Walgreens where looting was reported during demonstrations and unrest following Floyd’s murder.
Vallejo police said Sean Monterrosa was kneeling and moving his hands, an officer shot him through a windshield believing he had a gun. It turned out to be a hammer.
“We are here one year later memorializing his life celebrating his life and also standing alongside his family calling for justice for both Sean and every person lost to police state violence," said Terisa Siagatonu, an organizer of Sunday's rally.
The family has been active pushing for change.
“We’re trying to bring real change and accountability to the Bay Area, but more importantly here in California,” Michelle Monterrosa added.
“Sean’s family has emphasized that they are looking for criminal accountability first. So, we have prepared a civil suit that runs parallel in the federal courts to the ongoing criminal investigation,” said Lee Merritt, the family's attorney.
Meantime, California Attorney General Rob Bonta recently announced that his office would conduct an independent review of the shooting.
“Ultimately, we want justice for Sean and we want that justice to mean that this can’t happen to anyone else," said Ashley Monterrosa, Sean's sister.
NBC Bay Area has reached out to Vallejo police for comment. They released the following statement:
"It is important for us to acknowledge that the death of Sean Monterrosa was a tragic event and loss of life. The preservation of life is a sacred responsibility, and our mission as peace officers is to protect, serve and save lives. We express our deep condolences to Sean’s family, friends, and community on this difficult anniversary with the most profound human sympathy. This case is currently under review by the California Attorney General and as we have previously stated, we thank the Attorney General for accepting review of the case. Additionally, the Chief of Police ordered a third party administrative investigation of this critical incident which is presently underway. Pursuant to Penal Code Section 832.7(a) and government code 6254(c), the Vallejo Police Department is unable to provide any information related to personnel matters as such matters are confidential."