Recently released footage seems to contradict the police narrative around the rappers death at Taco Bell shooting.
The killing of 20-year-old rapper Willie McCoy was called an execution by his family members. The rapper was hit about 25 times by police when they had found him slumped over the steering wheel of his car. While the police had said that they shot him because he reached for his gun, family members who saw the bodycam footage say that he did not appear to be awake.
A couple weeks ago a friend of mine witnessed an unjust shooting, i went to where it took place and was handed this. Please take a moment to read it. 1 black man asleep in his car with a gun was shot with 25 bullets in 4 seconds. When will it stop? #PoliceBrutality #WillieMcCoy pic.twitter.com/8yrG2rnJ4i— 𝕯𝖎𝖆𝖓𝖆 (@dianabhabie) 28 February 2019
According to NBC News, McCoy was shot in the face, neck, chest and multiple other parts - all within the span of about four seconds. The shooting had taken place on February 9 in Taco Bell drive-through. After viewing the body cam footage of the incident on Wednesday this week, the family members are saying that the rapper was killed for no reason.
McCoy appeared to have moved his hand in his sleep to scratch his shoulder before six officers opened fire and killed him with a barrage of bullets, his family spoke to The Guardian shortly after viewing the footage. “They killed him in his sleep,” said David Harrison, McCoy’s cousin, who was one of three relatives to watch the body-camera footage of the 9 February killing. “He scratched his arm in his sleep. And they murdered him. There is no justification.”
Vallejo officials brought the family in to show them the footage for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, but barred the family’s attorney from viewing it and have not released any videos.
A police spokesperson told the Guardian that McCoy “was not sleeping during the entire incident”, writing in an email: “He woke up on his own and sat up, reach [sic] for the handgun when the officers told him to show them his hands, then the officers fired.” The spokesperson refused to share the video.
The family said the close-up footage of the encounter contradicted parts of the police department’s story.
Family of Willie McCoy viewed the footage Wednesday afternoon said McCoy did not appear to be awake when officers began shooting him inside his car. Also before they opened fire, officers noted to each other that the gun in his lap had no clip in it https://t.co/s6Ak3EkU2S— Drogon (@drogon_dracarys) 14 March 2019
According to the police report of the incident, the officers had said that they were responding to a 911 call about a man “slumped over” in his car at a Taco Bell. And that when they arrived, they found him “unresponsive”.
The department alleged that six officers all fired their weapons at McCoy out of “fear for their own safety” when he “quickly moved his hands downward” for a handgun in his lap.
However, Marc McCoy, Willie's older brother, who also saw the bodycam footage, said that he did not see Willie open his eyes. Also, at any point in the video, he did not appear to be alert either.
The rapper may have only moved his hand groggily before he was killed. He also added that the officers were all calm during the whole time and did not seem to make any effort to wake him up. He also said that the officers also did not give him any orders until the movement of his hand to scratch himself.
He said: “They never looked threatened. They never feared for their lives … There was never any attempt to resolve this in a peaceful way.”
Before they opened fire, the officers also noted to each other that the gun did not have a clip in it, which meant it could have been empty or at most had one bullet in the chamber, the family said. While Willie was still asleep, one officer said to another officer, “‘If he moves …’” and then gestured his head in a way that seemed to signal: “‘You know what to do,’” Harrison recounted.
“There was no way Willie was leaving there that day, period. He wasn’t going to leave alive. They made their minds up,” added the 48-year-old, who helped raise Willie.
Melissa Nold, the family’s lawyer who waited outside while they watched the footage Wednesday, said it seemed the video raised new questions about the police tactics when they approached the car: “It doesn’t sound like there was any plan in place. You can’t just shoot somebody when they move.”
Vallejo officer in Willie McCoy killing had a shooting in 2017. Police just released records on it https://t.co/RYaUcAgRSu— Mercury News (@mercnews) 11 March 2019
“I understand why they don’t want attorneys to see it and why they don’t want to release it to the public,” Harrison said about the footage, adding: “It did not look like someone was scared for their lives … They had intentions to kill Willie. That’s what I’ve seen in that video.”