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California AG to investigate fatal shooting of Sean Monterrosa by police

“We won’t bring him back, but action today is essential,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said Thursday. “We need to have full, thorough, impartial and fair reviews of the shootings of the officers involved.”

Monterrosa was killed on June 2, 2020 outside a Walgreens store in Vallejo, California. An officer, who was investigating reports of looting during a night of civil unrest following the death of George Floyd, fired his gun through the windshield of a police vehicle, hitting Monterrosa, the police said.

Thursday’s announcement comes months after family members and activists called on the state to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting.

In recent weeks, there have been growing calls for police accountability among the Hispanic community following the police murder of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latin boy in Chicago, and the death of Mario. Gonzalez Arenales, a 26 year old Latino. man who died in custody in Alameda, California.

Bonta’s office said the Solano County District Attorney “had unilaterally abdicated his responsibility as elected district attorney and refused to conduct a review of the Vallejo Police Department’s investigation into the incident.”

CNN has contacted Solano District Attorney Krishna A. Abrams for comment.

“Without accountability, there is no justice,” Bonta said in a statement. “It is high time the family of Sean Monterrosa, the community and the people of Vallejo got answers. They deserve to know where it stands. Instead, they were greeted in silence. It is time for that to change; It’s time to act . “

The investigation by local authorities into the shooting was completed in March and was handed over to the Attorney General’s office, but “no relevant authority has committed to review the investigation and apply the law to the facts of the shooting. this investigation and to make a decision in accordance with the law and the facts, ”Bonta said.

Monterrosa’s family said it was an emotional day for them. They said they were “relieved that action is finally being taken” after nearly a year after the deadly shooting.

“It is incredibly meaningful to finally receive the respect our family and Sean deserved for these nearly 12 months. We have made deep sacrifices to get to this point,” the family said in a statement.

The family noted that there are many other families in California who have been affected by police violence and “whose calls for accountability have gone unanswered.”

“Today, Attorney General Bonta gave us hope that his office is ready to begin this long march to justice, for Sean Monterrosa and all victims of police violence,” the family said.

Last month, the Monterrosa sisters said in a letter published in the San Francisco Examiner that Bonta’s appointment as state attorney general gave them hope that prosecutors “will finally take police violence seriously. , will prosecute officers who abuse their power and push for the decertification of officers who “I killed unarmed Californians.”
The family previously called a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting and report that evidence in the case has been destroyed.
Last year, less than two weeks after the shooting, city officials said they discovered the bullet-riddled windshield of the police vehicle from which a policeman fired at Monterrosa had been destroyed. The vehicle was “returned to service without prior consultation with the city’s police chief prosecutor’s office,” the city said in a statement.
Former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said last year that the California Department of Justice is investigating the alleged destruction of evidence in the Monterrosa case.

The police department said it was “grateful” that state officials are investigating the alleged destruction of evidence. Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams said in a statement last year that he was “deeply disappointed with the turn of events which led to the windshield not being kept” and that an investigation internal was opened.

CNN has contacted the attorney general’s office to inquire about the status of this investigation.


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