Attorneys for the family of Bay Area rapper Willie Bo (legally known as Willie McCoy) filed a legal claim on Thursday, signaling their intent to sue in the wrongful death of the 20-year-old, NBC News reports. In early February, McCoy was found unresponsive—reportedly falling asleep in a car while in a Vallejo, Calif. Taco Bell drive-thru lane—after an employee called the police to report a driver slumped over the seat of a vehicle. Officers approached the vehicle and found McCoy still unresponsive, with a handgun in his lap. Vallejo police claim that McCoy suddenly moved, ignoring orders to keep his hands up and “moved his hands downward for the firearm” causing officers to “fear for their lives.” Six officers on the scene fired multiple rounds within four seconds into the vehicle, killing the young artist. Now, according to the legal claim, the family is saying that the “entire operation was bungled from start to finish.” The claim, filed against the city, accuses the officers of being negligent and causing McCoy’s wrongful death. The claim alleges that officers failed to determine a plan in order to keep all parties safe, did not retreat to a safer position, and, for all their concentration on the gun did not notice that the car’s passenger side window was only covered by some plastic, which they could have opened to secure the gun. The claim also alleges that “the six person firing squad shot McCoy…in the head, ear, neck, chest, arms, shoulders, hands and back.” Civil rights attorney John Burris’ law firm, which is representing McCoy’s family, claimed previously that the 20-year-old was shot about 25 times in his upper body.

“They thought he was another no-good black kid, and oh well, we’ll take him out,” David Harrison, McCoy’s cousin and manager told NBC.

It has not been confirmed exactly how many times McCoy was hit, as the coroner’s report and toxicology reports have not been released.  Police have also suggested that body camera footage from the incident may not be made public until April, although the family will be allowed to see the footage sooner. “Release of information at this time would jeopardize the integrity of the investigation and would interfere with the investigators’ ability to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation,” Vallejo police claimed, according to NBC. Harrison, however,  wants the footage made public and the officers held accountable. “The way they killed him — it was out of hate,” he said. “As if they didn’t want him to exist anymore.” The officers involved in the case have been placed on administrative leave.


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