Vallejo police chief issues intended termination letter to officer who killed Sean Monterrosa

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Thursday, December 9, 2021
Use of force not objectively reasonable in Sean Monterrosa's death
An independent investigation finds a Vallejo police officer's use of force was not objectively reasonable in Sean Monterrosa's death.

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- The ABC7 News I-TEAM has obtained a copy of Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams' intended discipline - termination letter to the officer who shot and killed Sean Monterrosa June 2, 2020.

The letter is dated December 1, 2021. The officer's name is redacted. However, a lawsuit filed by the Monterrosa family previously named the officer as Jarrett Tonn.

In the letter, Chief Williams writes, "I am notifying you of my intent to terminate your employment with the Vallejo Police Department. If my intention remains unchanged following completion of any pre-disciplinary review in this matter, then I will notify you in writing of your termination following completion of this pre-disciplinary process."

RELATED: Vallejo PD's use of force not objectively reasonable in Sean Monterrosa's death, investigation finds

The letter outlines five policies and procedures Chief Williams says the officer violated, including de-escalation.

Last week, the Vallejo Police Department released the findings of a nearly year-long independent administrative investigation into a the officer's fatal shooting of Monterrosa. The officer shot and killed Monterrosa from the back seat of an unmarked police vehicle outside a Walgreens looting.

In its 66-page report, an independent police oversight and review group found the officer's use of force was not objectively reasonable when he shot and killed Monterrosa through the windshield from the backseat of unmarked police vehicle.

RELATED: Mixed reactions as CA attorney general announces independent review of Vallejo police shooting death

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Thursday that the California Department of Justice will conduct an independent review of the police shooting death of Sean Monterrosa to determine whether criminal charges are warranted.

Monterrosa was outside a Walgreens June 2 last year where there had been a looting during a protest over George Floyd's murder by police. Vallejo police said Monterrosa was crouched down in a half kneeling position, moving his hands towards his waist area revealing what appeared to the officer to be the butt of a handgun.

It turned out to be a hammer. The report found Monterrosa's action was potentially consistent with an intent to surrender. The report also revealed the fatal shot entered the back of Monterrosa's head, inconsistent with officers' statements that he was facing them in an aggressive shooting stance at the time.

While officers are not expected to be absolutely sure of a threat before using deadly force according to the report, the second guessing by the officer who shot and killed Monterrosa suggested significant uncertainty about whether Monterrosa was carrying a gun. That uncertainty was captured by the officers' body worn cameras.

RELATED: Monterrosa sisters turned 'pain into purpose' in year since brother was killed by Vallejo officer

Wednesday marks one year since a Vallejo police officer shot and killed 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa.

"What did he point at us," the officer could be heard asking."

"I don't know man," another officer replied.

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The family of a Vallejo man shot and killed by police is speaking out for the first time since his death.

"Hey, he pointed a gun at us," shouted the first officer.

The report also highlighted when officers started their recordings and found they could have safely begun recording sooner. The delay prevented capturing audio of the actual shooting.

A California attorney general's office independent review to determine whether criminal charges should be filed against the officer is ongoing.

Video is from a previous story