New calls for federal oversight on Vallejo PD following deadly shootings

Melanie Woodrow Image
Saturday, May 13, 2023
New calls for federal oversight on Vallejo PD
There are new calls for federal oversight of the Vallejo Police Department.

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- There are new calls for federal oversight of the Vallejo Police Department. This is as the deadline for the department to implement dozens of recommendations for changes following a number of deadly police shootings is less than a month away.

A petition started by the Solano County ACLU chapter has more than 600 signatures.

"We're supporting this because it's been far too long," said Michelle Monterrosa.

Michelle and Ashley Monterrosa are the sisters of Sean Monterrosa who was shot and killed by Vallejo Police on June 2, 2020.

After Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams recused herself from investigating the case, the Attorney General's Office took over on May 13, 2021. Two years later, the investigation continues.

EXCLUSIVE: Man killed by Vallejo police pronounced dead 1 hour after shooting, death announced by department 38.5 hours after shooting

"This process is exausting. It shouldn't take this long," said Michelle Monterrosa.

Kori McCoy shares in their frustration. Vallejo Police shot and killed his brother, Willie McCoy on Feb. 9, 2019. Solano County DA Abrams recused herself from investigating that case as well.

Solano County hired an independent special prosecutor who determined the officers felt their lives were threatened and acted in self-defense.

"There is absolutely no consequences nor is there any supervision when it comes to a police department that basically kills with impunity," McCoy said.

Andrea Sorce is co-chair of the Solano County ACLU Chapter.

RELATED: District attorney explains why she refused to investigate fatal Vallejo police shootings

"There haven't been substantive enough changes in the department to allow us to rebuild that trust with the community and recruit and retain officers that will practice good policing," said Sorce.

The Vallejo Police Department tells ABC7 News efforts are underway to create a Vallejo Police Oversight and Accountability Commission made up of appointed community members.

"I suspect there's going to be a lot of interest," said Vallejo Mayor Robert McConnell.

But beyond a community-based commission, the petition calls for an independent auditor and investigator as well as a court-supervised monitor of the Vallejo Police Department and the Vallejo Police Officers Association. Also that the state Department of Justice extend its oversight of the department for five more years.

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

"Everything I have read about federal oversight indicates to me that it's a bad idea," McConnell said.

Next week, the VPD interim police chief is expended to update city council on the department's progress on an outside consultant's recommendations as well as ongoing collaborative reform efforts with the California DOJ.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta said this week's collaborative reform isn't the only option.

"If there's an opportunity for another type of approach, including a pattern and practice investigation that's on the table as well," Bonta said.

MORE: Vallejo PD chief abruptly resigns months after police union's vote of no confidence

Calls for a change as a community tries to heal.

"My family is wondering and has continued to wonder for 4 years where is the outrage," McCoy said.

Today, the Vallejo Police Department announced the application period for the department's Critical Incident Review Board opened May 12 and that applications must be received no later than June 9, 2023.

The Vallejo Police Officers Association has not yet responded to request for comment from ABC7 News.

Take a look at more stories by the ABC7 News I-Team.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live