Police in California released bodycam footage of the February 9 shooting of rapper Willie McCoy that appears to show the 20-year-old had been fast asleep until moments before police opened fire. Vallejo police officers shot him an estimated 25 times in a four-second span, according to the family’s lawyer. The footage Vallejo police released of the shooting includes a 30-minute video that shows how six officers surrounded his car after getting a call of an unresponsive driver at a Taco Bell drive-thru.
The video doesn’t show McCoy’s face nor the weapon that officers claim is on his lap. But at one point an officer does say the gun’s magazine appears to be half out and he says that at most McCoy would have one bullet if he opened fire. Subtitles that police added to the video say the gun was loaded with an extended 14-round magazine.
There was lots of talk about opening the car door and grabbing the gun but the officers realized the car was locked. As officers at the scene discussed the next steps, there doesn’t seem to be any serious effort to actually wake McCoy up. At one point McCoy moves to scratch his shoulder and then appears to bend forward as police begin shouting at him to show them his hands. Within a few seconds, they open fire. Police claim that McCoy had gone to reach for the gun but that isn’t clear form the bodycam video. After firing numerous rounds they continue to yell at him to show the officers his hands.
Police only released the video after lots of public pressure. McCoy’s family had previously described the killing as a “death by firing squad” saying he was “executed.” Police had said the officers had opened fire because they feared for their safety. The six officers have since returned to duty.
“Overkill is an understatement,” attorney Melissa Nold told NBC News. Nold said that even if the doors in McCoy’s car were locked, the front passenger’s side window was broken and had sheet plastic covering it so that could have easily been removed. Considering no one had said the person in the car was a threat, McCoy’s family insists police should have treated it like a medical emergency. “We all have to come together in some way and put pressure on the politicians to hold police accountable,” Marc McCoy, McCoy’s older brother, told the Guardian. “It’s crazy that police still have these jobs. It’s crazy that as a country we are not outraged by this conduct.”