We discuss the push for justice regarding the tragic Vallejo Police shooting of Sean Monterrosa and how other victims of police violence can cope in our Advocate Daily Podcast with the Monterrosa sisters below.
The Vallejo police shooting that forced the Monterrosa sisters into the spotlight
When my editor, Claude J. Easy, and I spoke with the Monterrosa sisters in September, I was captured by their positive disposition in discussing their brother Sean Monterrosa’s brutal slaying by a Vallejo police officer.
Their poise and resolve, in discussing such a harrowing moment, comes from a place I’m not quite sure everyone has in them.
It was clear, in the days before we published the Advocate Daily episode, that Michelle and Ashley were inspired by their brother, and driven to keep fighting against oppressive powers like the Vallejo PD.
Michelle and Ashley Monterrosa were arrested along with a dozen or so other protestors outside of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s. It was near the four-month anniversary of their brother Sean Monterrosa’s murder.
Two days ago, it was announced that the charges were dropped against the Monterrosa sisters. A small victory that lets us, their allies at The Gathering for Justice, and freedom fighters across the country and world feel better for their safety. But a distracting headline that takes away from the core issue.
The Vallejo police shooting that rocked the nation during a summer of chaos is just part of the issue that the Monterrosa sisters want rectified.
A greater problem requires a greater resolve
There is a problem in the United States with police violence against communities of color, and there always has been. It is an issue that reform cannot weed out, as the system is inherently designed to be corrupt.
Thus, reform is not the answer. Revolution is. Governor Newsom must hear the Monterrosa sisters and their allies’ pleas, not offer tepid reconciliation.
The Vallejo police shooting was no anomaly, but rather the next fallout of a dangerous and corrupt force that chooses who lives and dies in this country. There was no justice served, back in June or two days ago with the dropped charges against Sean’s sisters. Only life taken far too soon.
The Monterrosa sisters fight so that justice is served. And so other families will not be put in a similar devastating situation as theirs. That selfless fight inspires me beyond words.
Let us not be distracted by public relation-fueled consolation. Cheap headlines without real action.
Many people (most of them white) are comfortable with maintaining the status quo. They may acknowledge a problem, but offer no desire or assistance in helping root it out.
The Monterrosa sisters don’t seek out adulation, but continue to fight for justice
And then there are the Monterrosa sisters, who use their pain, anguish, and most importantly, their brother Sean Monterrosa’s guiding light, to fuel their fight for justice.
2020 has been a year of turmoil, upheaval, and devastation. The Monterrosa sisters have known sadness that most of us will be lucky enough to not even brush past in our lifetimes.
But it is what they have done in their actions since the tragedy, that measures the true test of their character. Don’t expect them to stop now.