Deadly police shootings and race the topic of Bay Area filmmaker's new documentary

A new documentary by a Bay Area filmmaker examines several deadly police shootings including one in Vallejo. 

Officers shot and killed a young man while he was sleeping in his car. They said he had a gun on his lap.

It's been almost three years since Willie McCoy was shot and killed by Vallejo Police.

His brother Cory McCoy said he hopes the film will bring more attention to police killings and bring about change.

"They open fire and execute him," said McCoy as he pointed to an enlarged photo of a police officer aiming a gun at his younger brother Willie while the 20-year-old was asleep in his car at a fast-food restaurant drive through.  

It's an image McCoy said he took from the body cam video released by police.

"Our family is still somewhat stunned about the lack of outrage," said McCoy. He's grateful Willie's story will be among those told in a new documentary,

"Use of Force: The Policing of Black America."  

On the night of February 9, 2019, Willie was shot and killed by six police officers and none was charged. 

"Fifty plus bullets when you didn't get a chance to beg for your life," said Attorney Adante Pointer who represents the McCoy family.  

A special prosecutor found that all six officers were legally justified.

Pointer said Willie's family has filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Vallejo and the Police Department.

"We're going to keep fighting to find out the true facts," said Pointer.  

The 84-minute documentary looked at several police killings across the country and features interviews including law enforcement, the family of those who lost their lives, and people in a position to make change.

It's the work of Bay Area filmmaker Cary Grant Jr.  

SEE ALSO: No charges against Vallejo cops in deadly shooting

"I learned a lot about the complexity of law enforcement, about the relationship between police, the prosecutor's office and people of color," said Grant, "It's not just about racism. It's cultural. The more people we get to talk about the issue, even if it's uncomfortable to talk about, the more we can come up with solutions."

McCoy said his brother overcame a difficult life, having lost both parents before he was 10. Willie was killed just one month before turning 21.

"It hurts to the soul to know he's just not here to have that opportunity to live out his life," McCoy said. He said the film gives his brother and others killed by police a voice.

The filmmaker said the documentary will be screened in Oakland and across the country starting next month.

KTVU reached out to Vallejo Police. The department did not directly address the Willie McCoy case. But it did say it is reforming policies, procedure and training. For the first time in more than 20 years, there were no police shootings in Vallejo in 2021.

For more information on the documentary and screenings, check