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Willie McCoy: Rapper shot dead by six police officers in California as he ‘slept in car’ outside Taco Bell

Family of rapper shot dead by police deny he was a danger to officers

Andrew Buncombe
Seattle
Wednesday 13 February 2019 10:45 GMT
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Willie McCoy: Police provide update after rapper shot dead by six officers in California

A young rapper shot dead by police as he slept in his car was not threatening officers as they claimed, his family has insisted.

Police have confirmed the identity of the young man they shot in the parking lot of a Taco Bell fast-food restaurant as 21-year-old Willie McCoy, who was known as Willie Bo, and performed with the group FBG.

Officers in Vallejo, California, said they had gone there after restaurant staff called 911 to report seeing a person slumped over the seat of a silver Mercedes.

In a statement, the Vallejo Police Department said as officers approached the vehicle, 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 he quickly moved his hands downward for the firearm,” it said of Saturday’s incident. “Fearing for their safety, six officers fired their duty weapons at the driver.”

The family of the young man has disputed the account of the police, and claimed what happened is just the latest example of a young black man being shot and killed by police without justification.

“It’s a really big loss. Really, really unexpected,” Mr McCoy’s cousin, David Harrison, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“There’s a lot of grieving going on, trying to make sense of this thing.”

The newspaper said that a semi-automatic handgun recovered at the scene had been reported stolen in Oregon and was fully functional when officers found it, according to police.

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It said it was unknown how Mr McCoy obtained the firearm.

Mr Harrison later posted a video on Facebook in which he said: “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.”

Another cousin, Levonte Cole, told KTVU-TV: “Willie was a good person he didn’t deserve that. I have no words for Vallejo police.

“They’re supposed to protect and serve. They’re not supposed to shoot to kill.”

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