Vallejo church leaders call for reform, stand with Black Lives Matter in wake of deadly police shooting

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- Thousands marched the streets of Vallejo, Sunday afternoon led by church leaders calling for police reform. The gathering started at Emmanuel Baptist Church, the crowd filled the parking lot.

One young pastor, Ricky Nutt said, "We definitely feel like it's our responsibility to speak up, to be heard and to speak out against injustice."

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Nutt added that some in his generation believe the church community has stayed silent for too long.

"We know we have hurting people in the community. We have been marching against police violence for years," said Pastor Terrence Nichols, one of the organizers of the event.

One group, interrupted Pastor Dante Quick, another organizer, as he rallied the crowd.

"I'm excited that we've all come together to make sure that the separate voices that have been talking can now talk in one voice," said Pastor Quick.

"People have been mobilizing, people have been asking for help in the community for years and nothing has been done," said Maui Wilson.

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Wilson said even the most recent shooting death of 22-year-old Sean Monterossa could have been prevented, if community leaders listened to their cry for help. Monterossa was shot and killed at a Walgreens parking lot on June 2.

Officers were responding to a looting call. The officer who fired the shot was an 18-year law enforcement veteran.

Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams was invited to the rally but did not attend.

On Friday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced an expansive review of the Vallejo police department. The City of Vallejo has also requested the Attorney General's office launch an independent criminal investigation into the shooting of Monterossa.

It's the kind of progress that leaders of the Vallejo march are looking for.

"We have to demand change, we have to demand transformation in our city, state and nation," said Nutt.
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