California DOJ to review, reform Vallejo PD in wake of controversial police shootings

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SACRAMENTO (KRON) – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced on Friday an investigation into the policies and practices of the Vallejo Police Department, with intentions to reform the department.

“The review will aim to support effective policing through improvements in use-of-force procedures, anti-bias and community policing, and accountability by focusing on training, policy, and transparency in alignment with national standards, best practices, current and emerging research and community expectations,” Becerra said in a statement.

The announcement comes in light of recent controversial officer-involved shootings, including the death of 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa, who was fatally shot by a police officer who mistook his hammer for a gun.

Monterrosa was killed outside of a Walgreens store shortly after 12:30 a.m. Tuesday as several people described as looting suspects tried to flee arriving police.

According to Vallejo Police Shawny Chief Williams, two cars fled the scene when officers arrived but Monterrosa was not in one of the cars. He turned toward officers kneeling on the pavement as if he was preparing to shoot, Williams said.

“This individual appeared to be running toward the black sedan but suddenly stopped taking a kneeling position and placing his hands above his waist revealing what appeared to be the butt of a hand gun,” Williams said.

The chief says it was at this time that an officer sitting in an unmarked police cruiser fired his weapon through the windshield. Chief Williams did not identify the officer who fired his weapon, but said he is an 18-year veteran.

An investigation later revealed Monterrosa did not have a handgun but instead a 15 inch hammer tucked into the pocket of his sweatshirt.

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