California officer involved in fatal 2019 shooting of local rapper is fired
2020-10-03 | Since 2 Month
A police officer was fired for his involvement in the fatal shooting of a California rapper last year, the Vallejo Police Department said Thursday.
The officer, Ryan McMahon, was given a notice of termination Wednesday, police said.
"The Notice of Termination was issued after an Internal Affairs investigation concluded, among other things, that McMahon violated department policies by engaging in unsafe conduct and neglect for basic firearm safety during the incident," police said in a statement.
Police spokeswoman Brittany Jackson confirmed to NBC News that the incident referred to in the statement was the February 2019 death of Willie McCoy, a local rapper who was shot 55 times in 3.5 seconds.
"Any conduct outside the level of professionalism this City deserves will not be tolerated by the Vallejo Police Department," Police Chief Shawny Williams said. "I understand we have a long way to go in rebuilding trust among the residents of Vallejo and I will continue to take the necessary steps to better serve this community."
The statement said the city could not comment further because of McMahon's privacy rights. McMahon was one of six officers involved in the shooting. Police had no comment Thursday about the statuses of the five other officers.
In a letter to McMahon in March, Williams said he endangered the lives of other police officers, neglected basic firearm safety and demonstrated "unsatisfactory work performance including, but not limited to, failure [and] incompetence" in connection with the McCoy incident.
McMahon could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. A lawyer who has represented him previously did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Police were called after McCoy, who was Black, had fallen asleep in a running car in the drive-thru lane at a fast food restaurant. Police said McCoy was ordered to keep his hands visible and claimed that he reached for a gun, prompting six officers to open fire.
Body camera video showed McCoy with his head slumped to his left as police surrounded his car with guns drawn. He appeared to scratch his left shoulder, sat up and turned away from officers who shouted, "Show me your hands!" and fired at him within a few seconds.
McMahon was also involved in a fatal shooting in 2018. Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams said this year that McMahon was justified in using deadly force against Ronell Foster, a bicyclist he had stopped for not wearing a headlamp at night. Abrams said Foster, who was Black, grabbed McMahon's flashlight and threatened him during a struggle.
The city of Vallejo agreed to pay $5.7 million to Foster's family in September to settle a civil rights lawsuit they had brought against the city and McMahon.