SOLANO COUNTY (CBS SF) — Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams on Thursday announced the appointment of Michael Ramos as a special prosecutor to review the Vallejo Police Department officer-involved shooting in February that killed rapper Willie McCoy last year.
McCoy, 20, was shot two dozen times by Vallejo officers on February 9, 2019, in a Taco Bell drive-thru. He was a Vallejo rapper who performed under the name Willie Bo.
An independent report issued on the incident said six Vallejo police officers fired 55 rounds in 3.5 seconds at McCoy, who was sitting at the drive-thru in a silver Mercedes.
Early in July, Abrams announced that her office would recuse itself from reviewing the deadly Vallejo police shootings of McCoy and San Francisco resident Sean Monterrosa, the unarmed man who was killed during a George Floyd protest last month.
She then called on State Attorney General Xavier Beccera to investigate the shootings, but Becerra’s office declined.
“We listened to the concerns of the community and the overwhelming public demand for an independent review of this case and reached out to the Attorney General’s Office for assistance,” Abrams said in a post on the Solano County District Attorney’s Office Facebook page. “Although it is disappointing the Attorney General declined our request to review the case, we are confident that Mr. Ramos will provide a fair, comprehensive and independent review.”
Our goal with this independent review is to instill public confidence and trust in the legitimacy of officer involved fatal incident investigations,” the post read. “We believe this independent review will be a positive step in rebuilding relationships in our community.”
Ramos is the former District Attorney of San Bernardino County who lost his 2018 bid for re-election. A judge recently found the former DA had improperly deleted text messages and emails after Ramos was sued, according to the San Bernardino Sun.
As District Attorney, Ramos stubbornly persisted in the case against Kevin Cooper, a death row inmate convicted of killing 4 people, including two children.
“I am 100 percent certain Kevin Cooper committed these murders,” Ramos told 48 Hours, a CBS News program that reported there is a mountain of evidence that shows Cooper is innocent, including DNA evidence that doesn’t match Cooper to the crime.
Still Ramos has insisted Cooper is guilty, and should be executed.
“Looks like within his office, this man was – quote – ‘a scoundrel,’” said John Burris, attorney for the McCoy family.
“My view on that is she should withdraw the appointment of this person. And she should go find an independent person who is not a person who’s bringing baggage that interferes with his judgment.”
Judge Ladoris Cordell, a legal expert, said she thought the Solano County District Attorney was making a mistake.
“He has a terrible history and I can’t imagine what Ms. Abrams was thinking to bring someone in like that. He’s the last person that would instill public trust and confidence in this investigation.”
“I can not see how this man can be independently trusted to look at the shooting in this case. He’s made it quite clear with the Kevin Cooper case he’s not interested in getting at the truth. What he has done is side entirely with law enforcement in order to get somebody to nail a conviction. Without being what he’s supposed to be, which is a minister of justice,” Cordell added.
So far, there is no word whether Ramos will also review the Vallejo officer-involved shooting that killed Monterrosa.