The troubled and some would say trigger-happy Vallejo Police Department is looking at state Department of Justice oversight for the next five years, as California Attorney General Rob Bonta looks to curb the department’s very frequent use of force.
The “Days Without a Police Brutality Scandal” sign had to be reset back to zero this weekend at the Vallejo Police Department, as the Chronicle reports that a viral TikTok video posted Friday showed a Vallejo PD officer punching a woman in the face after a suspected shoplifting arrest. (The video is graphic, but you can watch it online.) This is the same Vallejo Police Department that allegedly bent their badges to celebrate fatal shootings, and has had a long list of police shootings, one time shooting a suspect 55 times while he was passed out.
With so many of the department’s shootings crossing his desk, California Attorney General Rob Bonta has seen enough. KTVU reports Bonta announced a five-year state oversight program of the Vallejo PD Monday, with an independent monitor and court oversight of the department that is now tasked with 45 reforms meant to prevent unreasonable use of force.
"At its core, this new agreement is about building and strengthening trust between the Vallejo Police Department and the communities it serves," Bonta said at a Monday press conference at the Vallejo City Council chambers. "It's about correcting injustices and enhancing public safety for all people in Vallejo. It's about ensuring that the Vallejo police Department listens to the people they serve and upholds their civil rights and their constitutional rights."
According to news release from Bonta’s office, Vallejo’s police department has agreed to stricter accountability in use of force incidents, more accountability and oversight board utilization, to limit their pretextual stops, and to eliminate the use of race, color, or ethnicity in making investigative stops, among other reforms.
Vallejo’s Interim Police Chief Jason Ta is onboard, and was standing by Bonta’s side at the press conference. "Improvements will be made," he said the conference, according to KTVU. "I am confident that this will increase accountability, efficiency, transparency, community partnerships while at the same time improving relationships with the public."
Ta has been the interim police chief for nearly a year, since last November’s abrupt resignation of then-chief Shawny Williams.
Image: @AGRobBonta via Twitter