A witness video uploaded Wednesday has fanned the outrage surrounding the police killing of a 20-year-old California man who was found sleeping in his car in a Taco Bell drive-thru, prompting the man’s family to call for police to release bodycam footage of the encounter.
The video, taken on a cellphone, captures audio of six officers in Vallejo firing collectively at least a dozen shots at Willie McCoy, a rapper also known as Willie Bo. Police had been called to the scene on Saturday night because an employee at Taco Bell had reported an “unresponsive” man. Police found him passed out in his car with a gun in his lap.
According to a statement from police, the officers first wanted to grab the gun from his lap but couldn’t because the car was locked. Then, when they noticed the car was on and in drive, they positioned a patrol car in front of it to prevent it from moving. They were moving another car to park behind McCoy’s car when McCoy “began to suddenly move and looked at the uniformed patrol officers.” When the officers told McCoy to put his hands up, he “did not comply and instead he quickly moved his hands downward for the firearm.”
According to the statement, the officers then opened fire because they were afraid for their safety. After firing several rounds over the course of several seconds, and after McCabe was clearly dead, they stopped and again shouted at McCabe, “Let me see your hands! Put your hands up!”
His family have called McCabe’s killing an “execution” and pointed out that McCabe likely reacted with a “quick motion” because he was disoriented and confused by being woken up by police. They are calling for the officers to be prosecuted. According to the police statement, the officers have been placed on administrative leave.