Michelle and Ashley Monterrosa were arrested last week after protesting outside California Governor Gavin Newsom‘s home on the 4-month anniversary of the police shooting that led to the death of their 22-year-old brother Sean Monterrosa in Vallejo. The sisters were among 17 people who were arrested on charges of unlawful assembly, failure to disperse at an unlawful assembly, trespassing and conspiracy to commit a crime against the governor, according to the California Highway Patrol ABC News reports.
“Sean was not the only person who Vallejo police have killed, but we’re here to say he will be the last one,” said Michelle Monterrosa during the protest, CBS reports. “They can try to silence us, but we will keep fighting for justice for Sean and all the people killed at the hands of police.”
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NEW UPDATE ‼️‼️ Ashley and Michelle Monterrosa will be released Oct 3. 2020 , around 6am. We will provide more information about the other protesters who have been arrested as well. Thank you everyone who has been reaching out and helping the family out. Let’s keep them in our prayers🙏🏽 once we have more details we will share with you all!
The sisters want speak to Gov. Newsom about their brother’s death but have received no response from his office. After the arrest he was asked by ABC News if he’d be willing to speak with the family and he didn’t answer the question directly.
“I’ve asked my staff to take a much more detailed look at exactly why the Attorney General chose not to move forward in terms of a criminal investigation, though I’m very pleased and grateful to the Attorney General for moving forward as it relates to police practices in that jurisdiction, and so we’ll have more to say hopefully very shortly.”
The sisters released a statement on Instagram in response saying that the gesture is “empty and meaningless” unless his office schedules a meeting with their family.
Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams recused herself from the case citing a lack of trust in her office from the community, Mission Local reports. The Attorney General Xavier Becerra declined to investigate though his office is investigating the destruction of the windshield the officer shot through which was evidence. The pickup truck the officers were in was in was put back into service despite the ongoing investigation, Mission Local reports.
The sisters were in jail for 23 hours according to the @justice4sean_ Instagram account and ABC News reports protesters had to post $2,000 bail in cash each to be released.
“We were practicing our First Amendment right which is freedom of speech and we posed no threat,” Michelle Monterrosa said ABC News reports.
On June 2, a Vallejo Police Officer identified as Jarrett Tonn allegedly fired five rounds from the backseat of the unmarked pickup through the windshield, killing Monterrosa after claiming he had a gun which was later revealed to be a hammer. Police had been called about looting outside a Walgreens and Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams’ initial statements describe Monterrosa as kneeling with his hands up though he later said he appeared to crouch as if to shoot.
“I’m exhausted I’m trying to catch up on sleep, but I feel motivated more than anything to go even harder for this journey for justice for our brother Sean,” said Ashley Monterrosa after her release, ABC News reports.