Video: The Firing Squad Execution of Willie McCoy By Vallejo Police

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Vallejo Police Department. Photo: Facebook

On Saturday, Vallejo Police released video showing several of their officers recklessly shooting to death 20-year-old Willie McCoy, last February 9, in his car—where he had fallen asleep at a local California Taco Bell drive-through.

Living while Black in America means one can be riddled with 25 bullets—while sleeping. McCoy, a member the FBG rap group—Forever Black Gods—was hit with bullets in his face, throat, chest, arms and ear. David Harrison, McCoy’s cousin, told The Guardian Newspaper “This was a cruel death by a firing squad. He was executed. They shot him so many times.”

Vallejo Police claim their video confirms McCoy was reaching for a gun before officers unleashed their deadly trigger-happy torrent of shots. This is a lie. Even their doctored police video—with muted sound, at the time officers opened fire—doesn’t support the fictitious story they’re spinning. A careful video review shows something else: a reckless disregard for Black life—if not murder.

The killing of Willie McCoy was sadly set in motion after a Taco Bell employee made a 9-11 call to police saying, “I have a person unresponsive to car honks in my drive-through…I’ve already had like people try to knock on the window.”

Apparently, while waiting for service, McCoy fell asleep. The Taco Bell employee made it clear to police McCoy was fast asleep. At no time on the police video do we see any of the officers who surround McCoy’s car trying to wake him up. In fact, from the time the video starts we see an officer with his gun pointed on McCoy. Six officers, Ryan McMahon, Collin Eaton, Bryan Glick, Jordon Patzer, Anthony Romero-Cano and Mark Thompson, all fired on McCoy.

Even before we see any live moving images on this video, we hear an officer telling the dispatcher McCoy has “a gun in his lap.” Conveniently, while police claim there was a gun, none of the footage shows any gun. The only gun we see is a gun one of McCoy’s killers has. In the video the first person we see is this cop with gun drawn; already itching to pull his trigger. He then says, “there’s a gun in his lap.” This cop then makes it fairly obvious he’s ready to fire his gun when he says, “I’m gonna bust that fucking window.”

Just what did he intend to “bust that fucking window” with? This officer clearly wanted to shoot McCoy from the beginning. With officers like him as a member of the Vallejo Police Department is it any wonder that in 2012 officers in this police department committed fatal shooting of civilians that were 38 times the national rate? Not too long after, we hear an officer saying, “I’m gonna pull him out and snatch his ass.” This language tells us Vallejo Police officers have already decided the sleeping McCoy is a criminal.

Why else would they be using this kind of language? The cop, who is talking about busting “that fucking window,” is belligerent and combative from the very beginning. The question is why? Why is this officer, who took an oath “to protect and to serve,” behaving this way because of a man sleeping in a car? Is it because he’s a young Black man in an expensive car? The kind of individuals police profile as “thugs?”

The Vallejo Police claim they recovered a stolen semi-automatic hand gun. But given the lies these officers tell why should they be believed? Moreover, is it somehow alright to shoot a sleeping man dead because a weapon is present? We must also wonder what these officers were saying—including the trigger-happy one who talks like a real thug—as they opened fire on McCoy. Even assuming McCoy had a gun this video still proves his death was caused by the recklessly inhumane actions of these brain-dead keystone killer-cops.

Why would just having a gun be considered criminal if the Second Amendment really grants all Americans the “right …to keep and bear arms?” Where are all these NRA gun-loving activists in denouncing the faulty reasoning here of Vallejo Police? Would these right-wing gun nuts dare argue the presence of a gun is good reason for police to act with this level of murderous malice? Unknown minutes elapsed from the time police first encountered the sleeping McCoy. Because of the sinister way in which Vallejo Police altered this video it’s had to tell how long they watched McCoy sleeping. However, it’s clear they knew McCoy was fast asleep in his car—gun, or no gun.

In fact, McCoy was killed as he was awaking from his sleep. This killing of McCoy by Vallejo Police is chillingly senseless. One family lawyer, Melissa Nold, said “There’s no attempt to preserve human life. It’s terrible to watch … Everyone’s takeaway is he should not have died.” Nold added, “Over and over and over, we have these cases in Vallejo, and we never have any discipline or re-training. That is why people keep dying … It’s pretty disturbing.” Some of these killer-cops, who took McCoy’s life, already face separate allegations of police abuse. One officer, Ryan McMahon involved in McCoy's execution was responsible for another ugly death. He killed Ronnell Foster, 32, on February 13, 2018, after he'd stopped Foster who was riding a bike in downtown Vallejo. After Foster ran into an alley, McMahon chased him down, hit him in the head with a flashlight, then shot him several times in the back—and in the back of his head.

Foster was the father of two children. Another one of McCoy's executioners, Mark Thompson, was sued in 2013 for directing his police dog to “maul” Anton Barrett Jr. an 18-year-old teen, who was handcuffed, on May 28, 2012. The teen was mauled around the same time his father, Anton Barrett Sr., 42—and unarmed Black man—was being shot, and killed, by Vallejo Police officer Sean Kenney. These shootings and killing of civilians caused residents of Vallejo to ask the Justice Department to investigate the Vallejo Police Department.

It’s hard to watch the malevolent murder of Willie McCoy on this video. He was shot to pieces in his car—while the car windows were rolled up. Why would any respectable police department want to employ murderous men like these officers? Black Americans are killed and murdered in every manner by police. Killed while lying down with hands up, while walking, while driving—and even while sleeping. Apparently, Black people shouldn’t be living.

Here we should remember the unsettling words of former Education Secretary William Bennett. This right-wing Republican once opined that to reduce crime "You could abort every Black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.” Bennett’s bigoted belief that crime in America is largely caused by Blacks is one we hear echoed by police policy-makers and the apologists who defend the lethal actions of killer-cops. As these killings of Black Americans, by police, continue where’s the sense of urgency from those in political power? Many Democratic presidential candidates have announced their intentions to run in 2020.

How many of them have told us anything about their platform for police policy changes and holding killer-cops accountable? Black Americans must continue to fight for justice against police brutality and murder. A few weeks ago, the Democratic Party wrote a resolution denouncing anti-Semitism because of the misinterpreted words of Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

Why can’t Democrats find their tongues to denounce police who murder a sleeping man in his car? What will it take to force politicians in Congress to take a stand against police racism and murder?

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