City of Vallejo asks Solano County DA to review police killings of Willie McCoy, Sean Monterrosa

The City of Vallejo is asking the Solano County District Attorney to resume reviewing the cases of two deadly police shootings that garnered national attention.

The city is requesting that District Attorney Krishna Abrams reconsider her recusal from examining the deaths of Willie McCoy, 20, and Sean Monterrosa, 22, after California Attorney General Xavier Becerra declined to do so. 

“We owe it to our community to see a fair and independent review completed,” said Vallejo City Manager Greg Nyhoff. “A thorough investigation must be done immediately, accurately, and without prejudice so we can move forward as a community. Investigating officer-involved shootings is the obligation of the District Attorney, and the City will pursue all necessary steps to ensure that the DA delivers on her responsibilities. Vallejo will not sit idly by and wait for these cases to be reviewed.”

Late Friday, Becerra issued a statement that said his office would investigate the alleged destruction of evidence in this case. It was reported this week that the city was seeking a criminal investigation of Vallejo police for the destruction of the windshield an officer shot through from the backseat with a rifle when Monterrosa was killed. 

“The allegations concerning destruction of evidence under the watch of the Vallejo Police Department are significant,” said Becerra. “For public trust to exist, each and every part of our criminal justice system must operate in cohesion and there’s little room for error. That’s why we’ve accepted Chief Williams’ request to take a look at what happened with the evidence and relay our findings to the District Attorney’s Office for review."

The attorney general's investigation is separate from the investigation of the shooting itself. 

In June, Abrams consulted with Becerra to conduct a criminal probe into the deadly shooting of Monterrosa by Vallejo police officers who mistook a hammer for a gun. However, Becerra declined to take the case saying that Abrams was the appropriate person to handle it. 

"It is absolutely critical that the shootings of Mr. McCoy and Mr. Monterossa receive thorough, fair and objective evaluations by the prosecuting authority charged with carrying out the duty. The elected District Attorney in Solano County is that authority," wrote in a note to the city on July 15. 

In line with the Solano County fatal-incident protocol, two investigations need to be completed with each officer-involved shooting: An internal affairs investigation by the Vallejo Police Department and a criminal investigation done by the Solano County District Attorney's Office. 

In the case of Monterrosa, whio was shot occurred on June 2, Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams has requested that the OIR Group conduct an additional third-party administrative investigation, and that investigation has since begun, city officials said.

Other Bay Area leaders are calling for a thorough investigation in Monterrosa's killing. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for a federal investigation into his death after it was discovered that a city employee destroyed essential evidence tied to the case. 

"The police killing of Sean Monterrosa was a horrible act of brutality that continues to shake our Bay Area community," Pelosi said Friday. "Recent reports that key evidence in the investigation was destroyed are deeply disturbing and highlight the urgency and necessity of an outside, independent federal investigation.“

Civil rights attorney John Burris, who represents Monterrosa's family, said he welcomes Pelosi's request.