The Vallejo Police Department is under investigation for the destruction of evidence in last month’s fatal police shooting of a man officers mistakenly thought had a gun, according to KTLA sister station KRON in San Francisco.
The windshield of the Vallejo police car involved in the June 2 shooting death of 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa has been destroyed, the city manager announced in a news release Wednesday.
The vehicle was placed back into service without prior consultation with the police chief or Vallejo City Attorney’s Office, officials said.
The city of Vallejo is now seeking a criminal investigation and requests that the destruction of evidence be included.
The shooting came as police were responding to Walgreens on the 1000 block of Redwood Street in Vallejo following reports of possible looting. An officer, who was sitting in his police cruiser, shot Monterrosa after mistaking a hammer in his pocket for a gun, Vallejo police Chief Shawny Williams said.
After sparking lots of outrage within the community and beyond, the city of Vallejo requested that the Solano County District Attorney’s Office or state Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office conduct the criminal investigation into the police shooting. The city said it’s now also reached out to the FBI.
“Certainly it appears that something criminal has happened,” Melissa Nold, attorney of Monterrosa family, said. “It’s interfered with criminal prosecution and it’s interfered with our federal civil rights case. … Why wasn’t the entire truck taken into custody immediately?”
City officials say “an employee has been placed on administrative leave” while the city retains an outside investigator to conduct the administrative investigation into the destruction of evidence.
No other details are available at this time.