'It seems like an execution,' says family of rapper, 21, reportedly shot while asleep in a car
On Saturday night, the police in a Bay Area Taco Bell drive-through shot and killed a young rapper in his car. His family has since spoken up saying the man was killed while sleeping and threatening no one.
However, police have a different version of the events that occurred on that fateful day. They insist the young man reached for a gun in his lap prompting officers to fire.
Over the weekend, the police in Vallejo responded to a Taco Bell restaurant at about 10:40 p.m. The police came through after employees of the restaurant reported seeing a man “slumped over” in the driver’s seat of a silver Mercedes-Benz.
“PUT YOUR HANDS UP!” Cell-phone video posted on @YouTube by Rolly Gabun captures the deadly shooting of rapper Willie McCoy by 6 @CityofVallejo police officers. Viewer discretion: https://t.co/TZBQOsEbtw pic.twitter.com/TpJOrUHy1m— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) February 14, 2019
According to the authorities, the call began as a welfare check, but when the officers approached the car, they saw a gun in the man’s lap. The young man’s car was locked, and the transmission was in drive.
Police parked a patrol car in front of the man’s car and tried to move another police vehicle behind it and that’s when the young man began to stir. In a statement, authorities said: “The driver began to suddenly move and looked at the uniformed patrol officers.”
“Officers gave the driver several commands to put his hands up. The driver did not comply and instead moved his hands downward toward the firearm.”
I've learned that 6 @CityofVallejo police officers opened fire, killing rapper Willie McCoy as he sat in his Mercedes in the drive-thru of a @TacoBell. Police say he was unresponsive but suddenly moved & reached for a stolen gun in his lap. His family says he didn't have to die pic.twitter.com/fCprsj675r— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) February 12, 2019
Then six officers fired “multiple rounds” at the man for about four seconds after fearing for their safety. The man was assisted medically on the scene but he died.
The police recovered .40-caliber handgun loaded with an extra magazine that had been reported stolen from Oregon from the man’s car. The officers involved in the shooting were all placed on administrative leave.
Now the man’s family has come out to contest the authority’s version of the incident. They claim the shooting was another example of police brutality against black men.
Listen to dispatch audio from the shooting of Willie McCoy, whom Vallejo police say was unconscious in his car with a gun in his lap at a Taco Bell drive-thru. McCoy was shot by police as they attempted to wake him up, police said.https://t.co/lLveJMAn2v pic.twitter.com/1znPHXp0B7— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) February 13, 2019
According to them, the young man was actually sleeping and wasn’t threatening anyone when officers shot him. Solano County coroner’s officials have not identified the man, but David Harrison, 48, from Oakland said he was his cousin, Willie “Willie Bo” James McCoy, 20.
Harrison described the young man as an aspiring rapper and actor who would’ve turned 21 in March. The slain man was raised by Harrison and other family members in Oakland and Vallejo after his parents passed away when he was only a child.
McCoy was described as “a goodhearted kid.” Harrison added that “He loved children. He was ambitious. There was no such things as friends for him. His friends were family.” According to his cousin, McCoy had been recording at a studio before dropping off his girlfriend and getting something to eat at the Taco Bell.
He had spent his day touring with family and was probably exhausted at the end of a long day and that’s when he fell asleep in his car. In a video that Harrison posted on Facebook, he warned parents of black men to protect their children from the police.
In the clip, the slain man’s cousin says between tears:
“You can’t just keep killing us in the street like this. My cousin was asleep in the car and they shot him … 20… times.”
Harrison called the Vallejo Police Department, “the most racist police department in the world.” His comment originates partly from a recent incident involving Vallejo Officer David McLaughlin.
McLaughlin was placed on leave after pulling a gun on a witness during a traffic stop. The officer stopped a motorcyclist and then forcefully detained a man recording the incident on his phone.
Harrison also revealed that the man on the motorcycle was another relative. In the video, the mourning relative added, “I have another cousin ... where they did the same thing. If it wasn’t for a camera being there showing the tactics, they would have killed these guys.”
“What the community is coming into contact with is some type of squad in the Vallejo Police Department targeting young black men for execution.”
Marc McCoy, 50, the slain man’s older brother said:
“There wasno attempt to try to work out a peaceful solution. The police’s job is to arrest people who are breaking the law – not take the law into your own hands. You’re not judge, jury and executioner … We’re never going to get over this.”
The incident with McCoy is still under investigation.
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