Shaun King: Willie McCoy Was Killed By Police While Sleeping In His Car

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Have you ever been so tired that you had to pull your car over somewhere and take a nap. I have done that in years, but I’ve it before – several times.

On this past Saturday, in Vallejo, California, 20 year old Willie McCoy, a young Black man, was so exhausted from the day that he pulled his car over into a Taco Bell parking lot, and fell asleep. Listen, sometimes the days are long and exhausting, and taking a short nap in your car is actually the safest thing you can do. It’s definitely safer than falling asleep at the wheel while you are driving.

But of course, it appears that someone from the Taco Bell called 911 on Willie McCoy. Because what’s scarier than a Black man sleeping in his car.

Now here’s the thing – having the police called on you in any city – can be dangerous, but having the Vallejo Police called on you, is altogether different. They are among the most flagrantly violent police in the country – regularly in trouble for beating, and assaulting, and shooting folk. They’ve been problematic my whole life.

In California, as soon as you say the words, “The Vallejo Police Department” people already know that means trouble. And so when you call the police on somebody in Vallejo, you do so knowing damn well that that could very well be a life or death situation. That’s no secret.

And of course, because it’s Vallejo, three police cars showed up. And when they showed up, Willie McCoy was indeed sound asleep. Six officers surrounded the car, demanding that he wake up and show them his hands. One officer said he saw a gun in the car. And I’ll talk more about that in a second. When Willie McCoy finally woke up, one officer said he saw Willie make a sudden movement that made him think Willie was reaching for his gun, so he began shooting Willie.

Guess what happened next? All six cops began shooting Willie McCoy. The Vallejo Police Department admits that all six officers fired their guns at Willie, but they are so embarrassed by how many times they fired their weapons that they won’t admit the number. Some people in the area who heard the shooting are saying it sounded like 50-60 shots.

Let me pause right there.

Here’s what I know – white men who armed with enough guns for a small militia – who just shot up movie theaters and schools and churches – killing dozens and dozens of people – who even had shootouts with police – killing cops – white people who were armed and dangerous – and just killed folk – are routinely taken in alive by police – without even a bruise a scratch.

But not Willie McCoy. He got a firing squad.

I saw white folk quoting Willie McCoy’s criminal record, but I don’t care what he did. Dylann Roof had a criminal record before he shot up one of our churches – killing 9 folk at point blank range, but that man didn’t have a scratch on him when he was arrested.

The young man who murdered so many students and staff in Parkland Florida – police had been to his home – primarily because of him – over 50 times, but he was arrested without incident.

Virtually every white mass shooter we can name has been arrested without even a bruise, but not Willie McCoy.

And I don’t wanna hear that it’s because he had a gun in his car.

Police shot and killed that man because they wanted to. It wasn’t the gun that got Willie shot, because police are admitting that he never touched it. It was Willie’s skin that got him killed. Nobody could tell me otherwise.

Had that been a white man in the car, and if that white man had just shot up that whole damn Taco Bell, police would’ve slowed down, taken their time, figured it out, and taken that white man in alive. They do it everyday.

And I don’t even have the answers for how we solve all of this. But I’ve said it before and I have to say it again – it’s not training. Police are fully trained on how to take people in alive. It’s just that they are only using that training on dangerous white folk – and seem to completely forget it – and be unwilling to use it – on anybody Black.

I’m tired of it. We saw this with Philando Castile, with Alton Sterling, and with hundreds of other black folk who police just couldn’t muster up enough patience for. Police are in a huge hurry when it comes to a man like Willie McCoy. They shoot first and ask questions later – and it’s not OK.

I’ve gotta run. I’m proud to say that we are launching The North Star today, but I want you to know that I’m going to be covering this case closely. Justice, of course, will be hard to come by, but we will fight for it anyway.

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13 thoughts on “Shaun King: Willie McCoy Was Killed By Police While Sleeping In His Car

  1. Sooo if he had continued driving and fell asleep and killed other people but managed to stay alive, they would have convicted him of vehicular manslaughter but he decided on pulling over to avoid this possibility and some body on the inside of Taco Bell safe and away from him decides that he was a menace to their well-being. Now the man is dead and idiots have decided his criminal record justifies shooting him 50 or more times.

  2. The main debate is that this guy never took a shot the police.At Trump rallies they brag about rights to own a gun.His past has nothing to do do with him being shot by multiple police.He had done nothing on this night.If police can arrest white with guns who have actually shot people they should have gave this guy a chance to talk to them.The fear for my life gets old.

  3. The main debate is that this guy never took a shot the police.At Trump rallies they brag about rights to own a gun.His past has nothing to do do with him being shot by multiple police.He had done nothing on this night.If police can arrest white with guns who have actually shoy people they should have gave this guy a chance to talk to them.The fear for my life gets old.

  4. Christianforreal on said:

    We all are always speaking about gaining justice when someone gets killed by the hands of another. WE CAN NEVER GET JUSTICE when a life has been taken. Maybe, as Hammurabi’s code of law went, we might feel some justice, but this man was killed, actually this child .He was 20 years of age. Was probably still wet behind the ears. That’s a shame. As a mother, there is NO justice for this. No amount of money and those officers lives in jail can compensate or even come close to justice!!!

  5. That’s why the sheriff bought him some food when they arrested him poor little white boy was hungry after killing those church folks

  6. Mrknowitall on said:

    I thought prisons are full of black killers that were taken alive by the police. Also Dylann Doof tried to commit suicide, but the gun was out of bullets. Stay racist.

    • QwibblesnHips on said:

      This is a dumb comment and basically fails to address the issue of the black man being shot to death in his car. Where do you see that jails are full of “black killers” that were taken alive? Like, do you have a link to that information or are you as stupid as you sound? And you think he’s racist?! Check your privilege…

    • You stupid MF if Dylann roof wanted to kill himself there are other ways without using a gun. You’re an lowlife POS. Racist cops murdered that guy and you celebrate Your day of reckoning is on the horizon.SOB!

    • Show the stats but oh there are none. you racist person. you have to get yourself together because people like you are making society worse off

    • Christianforreal on said:

      First of all,Mrknowitall, the jails are full of black men who were accused falsely (by some white folk) of killing someone. That’s why places like the “Innocence Project” has more work than they cane handle. Jails are full of black people committing minor crimes. And whether or not Dylan’s gun was out of bullets, the point is that the police had plenty, but DID NOT use any of them on him AFTER he used his to kill 9 people. Was there any question as to whether or nor he had a gun? Was there any question as to whether he was armed and dangerous? Was there any question as to whether those people may have been in danger from him? I THINK THE ANSWERS WOULD BE AN EMPHATIC ‘NO’!!!

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