Sisters of Vallejo police shooting victim meet with Biden-Harris transition team

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Sisters of Vallejo PD shooting victim meet with Biden-Harris team
Michelle and Ashley Monterrosa's brother Sean was killed in June by a Vallejo police officer. This week, the sisters had the opportunity to share their story with transition team policy advisors.

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- Two Bay Area sisters could have an impact on President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' first 100 days in office.

Michelle and Ashley Monterrosa's brother Sean was killed in June by a Vallejo police officer. This week, the sisters had the opportunity to share their story with transition team policy advisors.

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

Michelle and Ashley have been on a crusade for nearly six months.

"We need to have accountability for police violence," said Michelle Monterrosa.

On June 2, a Vallejo police officer shot and killed their brother Sean, who was 22-years-old.

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 and revealing what appeared to be the butt of a handgun. It turned out to be a hammer.

RELATED: Vallejo police officer shoots, kills 22-year-old after mistaking hammer for gun, chief says

Earlier this week, the Grassroots Law Project invited the sisters to be on a call with the Biden-Harris transition team to discuss criminal justice policy proposals with the new administration.

"I was a little bit taken aback. One of the members of his transition team was like 'you know these are great policies these are great changes but they sound very localized,'" said Michelle.

"This is not a local issue, this is going on country-wide. Police brutality and police violence is happening in every state," said Ashley.

Also on the call was San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, who that same day announced manslaughter and weapons charges against a former San Francisco police officer for shooting and killing an unarmed man in 2017.

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

Governor Gavin Newsom is responding to the arrest of two sisters outside his home, who were protesting on the anniversary of their brother being shot and killed by Vallejo Police.

Boudin said it was the first prosecution against a law enforcement officer in San Francisco's history.

The sisters say Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams, who recused herself from the Monterrosa case, was not on the call.

"You can charge officers, if you see Chesa doing it she can do it as well. I just hope it's a domino effect for other DAs all around California," said Michelle.

Michelle and Ashley say they were honored to have a seat at the table and hope it makes a difference.

"This is going to be one of the most hardest holiday seasons for us and it hurts, you know, Sean's not here but under their administration what can they ensure that there is no other families joining this group that no one wants to be a part of that's where I really want to hold them accountable that we don't see more officer involved shootings under the Biden administration," said Michelle..

RELATED: Vallejo police release bodycam video from fatal shooting of Sean Monterrosa

The Grassroots Law Project shared the following with ABC7 News:

"On Monday November 23rd, the Department of Justice Biden transition team invited the Grassroots Law Project to a meeting to discuss key criminal justice policy proposals the new administration could implement on day one through executive actions. The meeting followed the Grassroots Law Project's Biden Justice Demands campaign, where volunteers made thousands of calls and sent over a hundred thousand emails and petition signatures pushing for transformational change to mass incarceration and policing. Those at the meeting included Shaun King with staff from the Grassroots Law Project and leading reform prosecutors Suffolk County District Attorney Rachel Rollins, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and Aramis Ayala, State's Attorney for the Nine Judicial Court of Florida (Central Florida). Joining them were Sean Monterrosa's sisters, Ashley and Michelle Monterrosa, and Botham Jean's sister, Allisa Findley."

"It is important that people impacted by the police violence speak to the Biden transition team in order for President-elect Biden and his team to understand the real impact a lack of police accountability has on families," said Chris Lazare the Organizing Director for Grassroots Law Project.

"President-elect Biden has a chance to prove that he has our back like he promised by implementing key policy changes on day one."

Ideas presented by the group included:

  • Significantly shrinking the federal incarcerated population and supervision system by increasing the use of clemency and decreasing certain federal prosecutions
  • Changing who holds power by appointing public defenders and civil rights leaders to key positions within the Department of Justice
  • Drastically overhauling and improving the DOJ's investigations into law enforcement & prosecutor misconduct
  • Prioritizing changes to the criminal legal system in the Biden budget.