Inside One of America’s Deadliest Police Departments

At just 22 years old, Sean Monterrosa was shot and killed with a silenced assault rifle, fired from the back of an unmarked police car. That made him the 33rd person killed by the Vallejo, California, police department since 2000. 

When police responded to reports of a looting at a local Walgreens in June 2020, Monterrosa was still in the parking lot. He got down on his knees and put his arms above his head, as unmarked police vehicles approached him. 

But one of the officers on the scene, Det. Jarrett Tonn, says he mistook a hammer in Monterrosa’s waistband for a gun. He fired five rounds from the back seat of the vehicle he was in, one of which hit Monterrosa in the back of his head. 

“It looked like combat footage from Afghanistan,” said John Coyle, an attorney representing the Monterrosa family, referring to body camera footage of the incident. 

The Vallejo Police Department, which serves a city of about 125,000 in northern California, has killed more people per arrest than 97% of departments, according to the city’s Police Scorecard, which compares the department to those that serve a similar population size. And at its peak, the Vallejo PD’s rate of officer-involved shootings that resulted in deaths was about 38 times the national rate, according to an analysis from local news site KQED. The frequent killings have caused members of the community to lose faith in the department and even question whether they want to call the cops at all.  

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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