Family and friends of Sean Monterrosa, the 22-year-old Bernal Heights native who was fatally shot by Vallejo Police on June 2, had a particularly hard week. A few days ago, the body camera footage of their Monterrosa’s shooting was released by Vallejo police. Yesterday, the family marched in Vallejo once again to demand justice. But ever since the news of Monterrosa’s death was announced, those close to him had been planning a block party so his community — the Mission — could celebrate his life.
Organizers officially dubbed this day as “Tucan’s Day,” which kicked off today at noon with a block party that took place on the Monterrosas’ street near Holly Park. Hundreds of people showed up on the blocked-off street to enjoy free food, take home free Sean memorabilia, remember his life, and demand justice for his death. Here are a few shots of what organizers and family members call “the first annual Tucan’s Day.”
Sean’s 98-year-old grandmother participated in a spiritual and traditional indigenous dance put on for Sean’s spirit called “La Danza de las Cascabellas.”
This altar for Sean was created by community member Napaquetzalli. The base says “Tucan” in graffiti to honor his love of art. Multiple people passed by and prayed and added their own images to the altar.
A volunteer booth produced made-to-order free “Love Live Tucan” shirts. Underneath the tucan, which was Sean’s nickname, are the words “Justice for Sean Monterrosa.”
Sisters Ashley (left) and Michelle (right) Monterrosa listened to their mother Laura (center) express her grief over the death of her son.
Neftali Monterrosa, Sean’s father, recounted his son’s life at the Tucan’s Day.
Qing Qi, a San Francisco based artist and a former mentor to Sean Monterrosa at Horizons Unlimited, with her son Matthew Durgin and her niece Laniya Durgin.
San Francisco native Lil Bean performed during the block party.
Stepsisters Jada Moreno, 8, and Alexis Zarich, 13, hung out on the curb.
Kassandra Pintor, a city-based artist who uses the Instagram handle @kpxsf, worked on a painting in honor of Sean on behalf of a friend who is close with Sean’s sister.
Hundreds of local community members poured out onto Sean Monterrosa’s block to help celebrate what organizers said is the first annual Tucan’s Day.
Qing Qi riled up the crowd with her musical performance at Tucan’s Day.
In honor of Sean’s love of reading, a volunteer booth for a free lending library was put up on Tucan’s Day.
Julia Ortiz-Aragon, 28, sat observing the celebration on a nearby stoop and showed off her Sean Monterrosa necklace, which she said was passed out at the beginning of the block party.
Eduardo Valadez, a local artist with Loco Bloco, painted a picture of Sean during the block party. Valadez’s roommate, Christian Cuadrado, was one of the main organizer’s of the event. For more of Valadez’s work, go to @lacocinaloca.