A policeman in northern California shot and killed a 22-year-old unarmed man who was kneeling with his hands up near the Walgreens store. It is reported by the Guardian.
Vallejo police officer fired at Sean Monterros while sitting in his car. The incident occurred on Monday evening amid local and national protests against police brutality. Authorities said the officer mistakenly believed that Monterros had a gun in his hood pocket, but later it turned out that he only had a hammer with him. Monterrosa died in the hospital from gunshot wounds. The assassination of Monterros, a resident of San Francisco, caused great outrage in the Gulf region, especially in the city of Vallejo.
“When the police saw him, he fell to his knees and surrendered, and they opened fire on him,” said Melissa Nold, a civil rights lawyer in Vallejo, representing the Monterros family. “He did nothing to justify it.” They shot him from the car. What opportunity did they give him to survive in this situation? … It’s horrible”.
At a press conference on Wednesday, two days after the murder, police chief Shawnee Williams said officers responded to a call for a possible robbery at Walgreens shortly after midnight. Having approached the scene of the alleged crime, the officer saw a dozen people in the parking lot who were getting into the car.
Then the second officer arrived in the car without identification marks and found Sean Monterros, who immediately knelt down and began to raise his hands, near the store. At that moment, said the police chief, the policeman “saw the threat” and fired at Monteross 5 times through the windshield of his car. The police chief refused to give the name of the officer who killed Monterros.
Williams also shied away from questions about whether he considers the shooting to be excessive force, and ignored questions from angry community members who came to the press conference. When asked what he thinks about shooting through a window, the chief said that some officers are trained to shoot through the windshield, and this is allowed. The officer who fired the shot was sent on administrative leave, as were the witness officers.
“We protest for a guy who lived thousands of miles,” Nold said, “And on the same day, our own police shoot an unarmed man on his knees.” In a petition published on Change.org, locals demand that Shawnee Williams disclose footage from the body cameras of the officers involved in the incident and release their disciplinary notes. People are also asking for an external independent commission to investigate the murder of Sean Monterros.
“If employees cannot accurately assess the threat, they must be held accountable. Protecting property is not worth taking lives, especially when there is no threat, the petition says. “The release of videos and disciplinary notes will strengthen relationships and relationships with your community and will benefit the people involved if they acted right now and in the past.”