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Indybay Feature
City of Vallejo Releases Video of Police Murder of Willie McCoy
by Dave Id
Friday Mar 29th, 2019 5:37 PM
Responding to pressure from community groups and news outlets to release the tapes, the City of Vallejo today posted a compilation video which includes police body camera footage and other media related to the police killing of Willie McCoy on February 9. While it's obviously packaged as a pro-police propaganda piece, lying about what's in the video, the footage is nonetheless disturbing and view discretion is advised.
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(video 29:59)

The City of Vallejo titled their video posting "Officer Involved Shooting: February 9, 2019 Public Release Presentation," but the video more closely resembles what you might see as a courtroom exhibit than a typical public release of raw video and audio source material. Even as a courtroom exhibit, it's not likely it would all be wrapped up into a single piece as is this video.

The video compilation begins with a nearly 3-minute long introduction preparing viewers for what is to come, presumably an attempt by the city to shape a narrative exculpatory to police before we are allowed to see anything for ourselves. We are told that "Visual enhancements have been applied to the footage to explain what is being seen." Do not believe your lying eyes. They'll explain it to us. In the text about body camera footage, we are told not to trust what we see in the video. Noting that police might be looking in a different direction than their body cameras are filming seems disingenuous, most especially when cameras are pointing toward Willie McCoy and it was his slight movement that supposedly motivated six Vallejo cops to kill him in a hail of bullets. After the first cop shoots, five other cops immediately join in to create a close-range firing squad.

Video is presented in slow motion at times. Titles and captions are added, such as one that supposedly marks the point when Willie McCoy was reaching for a gun, even though the video clearly does not show that. All that's missing is the city attorney arguing to a jury how the video "proves" all six cops were simultaneously made afraid for their lives by an unconscious man. The city attorney, arguing on behalf of the killers, would tell us to disregard that the cops following the lead of the initial shooter were most likely responding to the sound of police gunfire rather than anything Willie McCoy actually did. The city attorney would have us believe all six cops were each individually made afraid for their life by the actions of Willie McCoy.

Willie McCoy's family was allowed to view raw body camera footage earlier this month. They reported that Willie McCoy did not appear to be awake and was murdered in reaction to him scratching his shoulder. Others such as council member Hakeem Brown were shown related stills and footage. The public, however, is served this propaganda piece. And the city did not bother to notify relatives of Willie McCoy that any video would be coming out today.

The video here is co-signed by the Vallejo Police Department and the City of Vallejo, but who are the individuals most responsible? Who decided that it would be presented this way? Who all had advance knowledge? Who directed this production? Who wrote the script? Who physically produced and edited this propaganda piece? Who viewed and approved this rendering before it went public? Were those few people who were previously shown parts and pieces of media elements herein "test audiences" whose feedback went into the final production? What did it cost the City of Vallejo?

In today's post on their video channel, it's worth pointing out that not only did the City of Vallejo chose the euphemism "officer involved shooting" to describe what happened, there is no acknowledgement that someone was killed or even a mention of Willie McCoy's name.
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