VALLEJO, Calif. (KTVU) - Nearly two months after the shooting death of 20-year-old Willie McCoy at a Taco Bell drive-thru, the Vallejo Police Department has released video from police body cameras in a YouTube link.
- WARNING: Graphic video
The release of the highly anticipated video comes after family and public outcry for police transparency from the embattled police department that’s been facing multiple accusations of officer misconduct. Recent cases include multiple reports by KTVU 2 Investigates, one where a Vallejo police officer detained a young man for recording a traffic stop with his phone.
McCoy was found unresponsive in a car in a Taco Bell drive-through, February 9. The 30-minute clip, released Friday, shows an officers spot a gun on McCoy's lap. The video is edited and includes different angles. Neither the weapon or Mccoy's face can be clearly seen, but the officer in the main video says he sees the gun with half the magazine out.
Police note, in subtitles, the gun was actually loaded with an extended 14-round magazine. At the time it doesn't seem the officers are aware of that fact, according to the body cam footage.
The video goes own to show officers working to box in McCoy's silver Mercedes with their police vehicles while other officers stand inches away from the driver side window figuring out what to do next.
"He's got a gun in his lap. The magazine's half out, so he's only got one shot if he shoots. Door looks unlocked," said an officer. "I'm thinking we snatch him out."
Later, it was determined the door was locked.
After four minutes, McCoy is finally seen moving. Video shows him seem to scratch his left shoulder with his right hand. Moments later he seems to bend from the waist and move his left arm.
"If he reaches for [the gun] you know what to do," one officer is heard saying.
Although Vallejo police say they gave McCoy multiple verbal comments to put his hands up, video shows a span of three seconds before the first command and gunshot.
Six officers opened fire on McCoy killing him at the scene. They have been identified as: Collin Eaton, Bryan Glick, Jordan Patzer, Anthony Romero-Cano, Mark Thompson and Ryan McMahon.
McMahon was involved in a separate fatal shooting last year and Thomson was named in another excessive force complaint in 2018.
Family members accuse the police of racial profiling. They spoke to reporters hours after the video was publicly released.
"I'm glad the video was released so everyone can see it," said Dave Harrison, McCoy's older cousin. "Willie was a sitting duck in that car. He was asleep."
Vallejo police denied multiple interview requests by 2 Investigates. In a statement, police officials said: "This is our first time releasing video in this fashion and it is our hope tha twe can provide sufficient context for the community to understand the facts of this case."
After the shooting, it was later learned McCoy had a criminal history and the gun -- which had an extended magazine -- had been stolen.
Civil rights attorney John Burris holding LIVE news conf. on #Vallejo PD release of #WillieMcCoy fatal police shooting video.— KTVU (@KTVU) March 29, 2019
"It was a firing squad. I don't use that term lightly. This young man was shot to pieces." pic.twitter.com/Zh5SYJ8dF8
Read Vallejo P.D.'s full statement on the release of the Willie McCoy shooting video here.
Candice Nguyen is an investigative reporter with KTVU Fox 2. Send her story tips at firstname.lastname@example.org