Six California police officers were involved in the killing of 21-year-old Willie McCoy. The rapper, also known as Willie Bo, was sleeping in his car when police arrived on the scene on Saturday. "The incident began shortly after 10:30 p.m. when an employee of the restaurant on Admiral Callaghan Lane reported that a driver was slumped over in the driver’s seat of a silver Mercedes," according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Multiple rounds were fired. McCoy was pronounced dead on site. The police authorities say the officers gunned him down because they feared for their own safety. They issued a statement specifying that the unconscious man was in possession of a gun. However, he was awake when the cops shot him.
“The officers told the driver to keep his hands visible, however, the driver quickly reached for the handgun on his lap,” police said in a statement. “In fear for their own safety, the officers discharged their weapons at the driver.” After shooting him, they continued yelling commands and ultimately removed McCoy from the vehicle to offer medical assistance.
The victim's 50-year-old brother, Marc, said the officers probably startled him awake. The police could have alerted him with a bullhorn instead of approaching the car and swiftly reacting with violence. “No one trusts the police in Vallejo,” said David Harrison, McCoy’s cousin. “We are being targeted … Police have a campaign of executing young black men who fit a certain profile. Willie dressed the part. He represents hip-hop music. They are profiled.”
Carrying a gun in the state of California is legal with a valid conceal and carry permit. Without a permit, individual risk being charged with a misdemeanor offense. The penalties for this charge range between a fine of $1000 and/or county jail time up to one year.