By Avanni Trujillo
On Saturday, February 9th, a man fell asleep waiting in a Vallejo Taco Bell drive-thru. Workers called police to the scene and two officers arrived. Four more officers arrived as backup. They tried opening the driver’s car door, but to no avail. As he started to move around, the police allegedly began telling him to put his hands up and come out peacefully. On his lap lay a gun and as he supposedly reached for it, the officers feared for their safety and fired at him. His wounds were fatal and he died on the scene.
The driver identified as Willie McCoy was in his early 20s when his life was taken. He was a local rapper who had his whole life ahead of him. The officers who killed him have been placed on administrative leave and their names have not been released.
This is not the first time an act of unwarranted violence committed by police officers have killed someone locally. In 2017, a Benicia man named Jeffrey Barboa, committed armed robbery in a donut shop while on methamphetamines. He was shot 41 times by five officers. The jury ruled his death suicide by officers because he did not drop his weapon, but a video was released of him walking towards officers with his hands up.
While it could be argued that we are protected by our second amendment right to bear arms in the McCoy case, California does not recognize concealed carry laws. But in both cases, neither man deserved to killed. Police could have used a taser to handle them instead of choosing to automatically fire their weapons with the intent to kill. Law enforcement should be more cautious when it comes to handling “criminals” because at the end of the day, lives were taken when they should not have been and families are mourning.