That could be how it happened, but an Oakland attorney speaking on behalf of McCoy’s family believes this is just another instance of racial profiling and excessive use of force by the police. McCoy, who was only 20, could have faced a firing squad for how the entire thing went down.
“Overkill is an understatement,” Melissa Nold tells NBC News. McCoy’s car was surrounded by 6 police officers as he slept. In under 4 seconds, they fired 25 shots at the rapper, many of which would have proved fatal on their own. To Nold, it sounds like the police didn’t even give McCoy a chance to comply with their demands of putting his hands up, or even to wake up properly from his nap.
“Suppose he was having a medical emergency and needed help. Their reaction wasn't can we get this person safely out of the car,” Nold adds. “Even under the worst case scenario, you still have an obligation to try and avoid the use of deadly force.”
Police were called by a Taco Bell employee, who had noticed McCoy slumped at the wheel, with the engine still running. Two officers arrived at the scene and noticed the gun in his lap. They didn’t try to wake him up but called for backup: 2 other units arrived, bringing the number of cops to a total of 6.
They blocked McCoy’s car with their own, but still chose to approach the vehicle on foot. According to the police, they noticed him waking up and making a sudden move for the gun, which is when they opened fire. Prior to that, they were heard urging him to put his hands up, but everything was over in 4 seconds.
Police say the gun in McCoy’s lap was fully loaded and had been reported stolen in Oregon. His family had no idea he owned a gun in the first place.
20-year-old man Willie McCoy was killed by police while he was asleep in his car pic.twitter.com/KGkjEk1cvr— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 15, 2019