Updated 11:00 a.m. Friday, Aug. 7
The City of Vallejo wants to move litigation over its most recent police shooting out of both the Bay Area and Sacramento areas, citing "negative media coverage" that could compromise a fair trial.
The city's announcement of its plans to file a change-of-venue request, first reported by ABC7 News, comes one day after the family of Sean Monterrosa, a young man shot and killed by Vallejo police in June, filed a federal civil rights lawsuit for wrongful death against the city of Vallejo and the officer they allege to have killed him.
In a statement, the Vallejo City Attorney's office said it will seek a protective order to prevent the Monterrosa family's attorney – civil rights lawyer John Burris – and "affiliated parties" from speaking to media about the case.
"The jury pool in the local surrounding areas has been debased by inflammatory and sensationalized media statements given by the plaintiff's attorneys in this case," the statement read. "This will ensure fairness and allow the judicial process to play out in a non-partisan fashion, as it was designed."
Melissa Nold, an attorney with the Law Offices of John Burris who has represented other families of those shot by Vallejo Police, called the move an attempt to silence critics.
"First they murder you, then they try to manipulate the system to silence you," Nold wrote on Twitter.