California's attorney general will not file charges against a police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Vallejo Police Officer Jarrett Tonn killed 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa in June 2020 after responding to reports of suspects stealing from a Walgreens store. At the time of the Motorosa shooting, civil unrest swept the country following the killing of George Floyd just a week earlier in Minneapolis.
Mr. Tonn fired a rifle five times through the windshield of his patrol car, hitting Monterrosa once in the head as he knelt down. In the aftermath of the shooting, law enforcement claimed they initially thought Monterosa had a gun in his waistband.
A hammer was later found in the pocket of a sweatshirt Monterrosa was wearing.
On Tuesday, California Attorney General Rob Bonda issued a statement saying a Justice Department investigation found there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Tonn did not act to defend himself or his colleagues. of officers when he fired the shot that killed Monterosa. .
“Sean Monterosa's life mattered and there is nothing that can make up for his death. His loss is and will continue to be felt by his family and the Bay Area community,” Mr. Bonta said.
Monterrosa's sister, Michelle, told The Associated Press that she found the decision not to charge Mr. Tonn disappointing.
“It's really disappointing to see people putting their political careers ahead of actually doing what they need to do to get justice for our loved ones,” he said.
Mr Tonn opened fire from the back seat of a moving vehicle carrying two other officers. The windshield of the patrol truck, considered a key piece of the case, was smashed, leading city officials to seek a criminal investigation into how this happened.
Mr. Bonta, who took over the case in 2021 after Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams was fired, argued that the officers who replaced the windshield were not involved in the shooting and did not act with criminal intent.
Mr. Tonn was fired from the police department last year after an independent third-party investigation found he violated several department policies, including using deadly force that was not objectively reasonable, de-escalating the situation and failing to activate his body armor. camera in time.
However, he was reinstated earlier this year after appealing the decision, KCRA reports.
In recent years, the Vallejo Police Department has come under repeated criticism. In 2019, a 20-year-old man was killed after he fell asleep with a gun in his lap in his car at a Taco Bell drive-thru and six Vallejo police officers fired 55 shots.
In the month after Monterrosa's murder, then-Police Chief Shawny Williams launched an independent investigation after two people in the department said officers had bent their badges to mark on-duty killings.