Gov. Newsom 'open' to meeting with family of man shot, killed by Vallejo police

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Newsom 'open' to meet with family of man shot, killed by Vallejo PD
Governor Gavin Newsom says he is "open" to meeting with the sisters of Sean Monterrosa, who was killed in June by a Vallejo police officer.

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- It's now been more than five months since a Vallejo police officer killed Sean Monterrosa. Next month, Monterrosa's sisters are expected to face charges connected to protesting outside Governor Gavin Newsom's home.

Time has not healed the loss of Sean Monterrosa for his sisters, and they have been asking the Governor to meet with them.

"We deal with this pain every day," said Michelle Monterrosa.

RELATED: Sisters of man shot, killed by Vallejo police arrested outside Gov. Newsom's home for protesting

More than five months ago, a Vallejo police officer shot and killed Sean Monterrosa. The officer fired from the backseat of an unmarked vehicle hitting and killing Monterrosa, who was outside a Walgreens where there had been a looting.

Vallejo Police said he was crouched down in a half-kneeling position, moving his hands towards his waist area, revealing what appeared to be the butt of a handgun. It turned out to be a hammer.

Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams recused herself from the case. The Attorney General declined to investigate, though the AG's office is investigating the destruction of the windshield by police, which was evidence.

Monterrosa's sisters Michelle and Ashley have been asking Governor Gavin Newsom to meet with them.

VIDEO: Vallejo police release bodycam footage from fatal shooting of Sean Monterrosa

Vallejo police released body camera video from the June 2 fatal shooting of Sean Monterrosa Wednesday. Officers shot and killed Monterrosa through the windshield of a patrol car following a night of looting.

Last month, on Oct. 2, the four-month anniversary of Sean's death, the California Highway Patrol arrested 17 protesters outside the Governor's home, including Michelle and Ashley.

"Shame on you Governor Newsom, shame on you," others could be heard yelling at the time.

Next month, the sisters will face charges for unlawful assembly, failure to disperse, trespassing and conspiring to commit a crime against the Governor.

"Justice delayed is justice denied, which is why we had no choice but to go to the Governor's home at this point," said Ashley Monterrosa.

During an October press conference, three days after the sisters' arrest, ABC7 News I-TEAM Reporter Melanie Woodrow asked Governor Newsom if he'd be willing to meet with the Monterrosa family.

He didn't answer the question directly but said in part:

"I've asked my staff to take a much more detailed look at exactly why the Attorney General chose not to move forward in terms of a criminal investigation, though I'm very pleased and grateful to the Attorney General for moving forward as it relates to police practices in that jurisdiction, and so we'll have more to say hopefully very shortly."

RELATED: Family speaks out after Vallejo police mistake hammer for gun and shoot, kill 22-year-old

I-TEAM reporter Melanie Woodrow had the opportunity to catch up with Governor Newsom again last week.

"Would you be willing to meet with that family? That's something they are desiring," Woodrow said to the Governor.

"I'm open to that, I'm open to that. I'm always open to that, but let me get the facts and the basis of what the investigation looks like. Nothing worse than a politician getting the middle before he or she has the capacity of facts and interrupting the integrity of any investigation -- So let me maintain that first as a paramount, before any subsequent decisions are made," said Governor Newsom.

"We're never going to get Sean back. What can we do to work with you to prevent another family going through this loss?" said Michelle Monterrosa.

RELATED: Vallejo PD says Sean Monterrosa was at half-kneel when he was fatally shot in back of head by officer

Governor Newsom signed AB 1506 into law, which will require the Attorney General, starting next year, to investigate fatal police shootings of unarmed individuals.

"We're very familiar with AB 1506 but that's next year, we've been asking for justice since June 2nd," Ashley Monterrosa said.

The sisters say with each passing month, they continue their fight.

"I hope that he wants to have a sit-down with us and I hope that we develop a bond and build a bridge between impacted families and elected officials so we push for change, cause enough is enough," said Michelle Monterrosa.

And while they won't take their message to the governor's doorstep again, they don't plan to remain silent either.

"Nothing will bring Sean back but the work we're doing, I know he would be proud," said Michelle Monterrosa.