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California police share bodycam video in fatal shooting

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California rapper Willie McCoy, also known as Willie Bo, was fatally shot by police.
USA TODAY

Police have released bodycam video of the fatal shooting of a California rapper in the drive-thru of a Taco Bell restaurant in February following his family’s demands for transparency.

Body camera footage edited by the Vallejo Police Department and released on Friday shows the moment when six officers opened fire on 20-year-old Willie McCoy after he had been found unresponsive in his car

In the video, McCoy can be seen scratching his shoulder as officers with guns drawn shout commands for him to show his hands. As he begins to move forward, the police say in captions added to the video that McCoy reaches with his left hand for a gun in his lap. The video footage does not show the firearm at any point.

Police shot at McCoy through the car’s windows while “fearing for their safety,” according to a February press release.

John Burris, the attorney for McCoy’s family, said police failed to create a plan to safely remove McCoy from the car. 

“Nothing in that video warranted those officers shooting Willie McCoy dozens of times,” Burris said at a press conference. 

Before McCoy wakes up, an officer can be heard on video saying, “The magazine’s out, so if he shoots, he’s only got one shot.” An added caption, however, says the gun was loaded with an extended 14-round magazine.

McCoy’s family filed a wrongful death claim against the police department at the end of February. The Solano County District Attorney’s Office investigating the incident may take nearly two years to issue a final report, police said

A police statement within the video says “body cameras do not always reflect what the officer’s eyes see” because of different angles. 

Vallejo police placed the involved officers on administrative leave before deeming them able to return to work. The department identified them as Ryan McMahon, Colin Eaton, Bryan Glick, Jordon Patzer, Anthony Romero-Cano and Mark Thompson. 

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A Taco Bell employee’s 911 call was included in the video released by police. “I’ve already had people try to knock on the window,” the employee says at one point. “I have no idea what’s going on.”

A local rapper, McCoy was known as Willie Bo with the group FBG, which stands for “Forever Black Gods.” He wrote lyrics about the criminal justice system, The Guardian reported.

“Willie was a sitting duck in that car,” McCoy’s cousin, David Harrison, said at a press conference. “He was asleep. Anybody can see that he was sleeping and he was never woke. They didn’t want to give him a chance.” 

Caution: Viewer discretion is advised. 

 

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