Vallejo Police chief said he hopes Attorney General Xavier Becerra will provide insight into why the evidence in the police killing of Sean Monterrosa was destroyed.
VALLEJO, Calif —
Vallejo police announced Friday that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is investigating why the evidence of the police killing of a San Francisco man in June was destroyed.
Vallejo city officials confirmed on Wednesday the windshield of a Vallejo police vehicle that a police officer shot through was destroyed. The police vehicle was also placed back into service without approval from either the police chief or the city’s attorney’s office, city officials said.
The city’s announcement came days after police released bodycam footage of the fatal police shooting of Sean Monterrosa, 22, in June as massive protests were happening around the country over Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd.
Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams said in a press release that he is disappointed the windshield was not preserved during the investigation.
The bodycam footage showed an unnamed officer firing his rifle from the backseat of a vehicle through the windshield. Seconds later, as the officer gets out of the truck, he can be heard saying, “What did he point at us?”
Moments later, the same officer says, “Aye, he pointed a gun at us.”
Monterrosa was pronounced dead at the local hospital.
“It is a priority for our department to conduct a thorough investigation and provide the transparency that our community expects and deserves. It is our hope that the State Attorney General’s Office can provide clarity in this investigation,” Williams said.
John Burris, a civil rights attorney, said the destruction of police evidence is unprecedented.
“Never has there been a destruction of the evidence where the very city says we are going to investigate our own people and determine how this happened,” Burris said.
Police said an outside independent group would also conduct a separate investigation into why the evidence was destroyed.
Williams placed two employees on leave amid the investigation, police said.
The Solano County District Attorney’s Office requested California’s Department of Justice [DOJ] to review the results of the case in June. The California DOJ denied the request. According to the California DOJ, District Attorney Krishna Abrams was capable of “fully and fairly” completing the investigations.
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