The police said the local artist had a gun in his lap and made a sudden move when they found him asleep in his car outside a restaurant late Saturday.
An employee of the restaurant had called the police to check on the driver who turned out to be Willie McCoy, Presstv Reported.
In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle the police said the driver did not respond to the police when they arrived to examine him, but he made a sudden move.
Law enforcement officers said they told McCoy to expose hands, but he reached for his firearm instead. The officers, then, fatally shot the man “in fear for their own safety.”
McCoy’s family has publicly raised questions about the police reaction.
“There was no attempt to try to work out a peaceful solution,” Willie McCoy’s brother said. “The police’s job is to arrest people who are breaking the law — not take the law into your own hands. You’re not judge, jury and executioner. ... We’re never going to get over this.”
McCoy’s brother also said that he thought the police officers who were summoned to the scene had scared his brother.
“Police are trained to shoot first and hurt you first,” he said. “They do not respect black people. Even when they have a person subdued and their life is not in danger, they continue to be blatantly physically disrespectful. That is just accepted in America.”
The McCoy family called for the persecution of the police officers.
“We cannot fathom why they would have to shoot him. This was senseless ... shooting a man sleeping in his car,” the cousin of the deceased said. “We want to make sure this never happens again to another person.”