EXCLUSIVE: Fired Vallejo officer involved in fatal shootings gets job with Broadmoor police

Ryan McMahon was one of six Vallejo cops who shot Willie McCoy more than 50 times in a Taco Bell drive-thru in 2019, killing him.

Melanie Woodrow Image
Thursday, November 10, 2022
EXCLUSIVE: Fired Vallejo cop gets new job with police department
Ryan McMahon, a former Vallejo cop involved in two fatal shootings and fired for unsafe conduct, has been hired by the Broadmoor Police Department.

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- A former Vallejo police officer who was involved in two fatal shootings and fired for unsafe conduct has been hired by the Broadmoor Police Department near Daly City. It's a story by the ABC7 News I-Team you'll see Only On 7.

"It's a direct slap in the face," said Kori McCoy, Willie McCoy's brother.

Warning: Video could be hard to watch

Ryan McMahon was one of six Vallejo police officers who shot Willie McCoy more than 50 times in a Taco Bell drive-thru in February 2019, killing him.

VIDEO: Vallejo police release body cam video of controversial shooting at Taco Bell

Vallejo Police release body cam video of controversial officer-involved shooting at Taco Bell in Vallejo on February 2019. (WARNING: Some may find this video disturbing, viewer discretion is advised.)

In 2020, former Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams fired McMahon for unsafe conduct and neglect for basic firearm safety that endangered fellow officers in connection with the shooting.

"For someone to make a decision and find that it was okay to put this man back in that same position of power I think is disgraceful I think it's irresponsible," said McCoy.

An independent special prosecutor hired by Solano County determined the officers felt their lives were threatened and acted in self-defense.

In 2018, McMahon shot and killed Ronell Foster after stopping Foster for not having a light on his bicycle.

MORE: Vallejo police chief abruptly resigns months after police union's vote of no confidence

In a settlement, the City of Vallejo paid Foster's family $5.7 million.

The Solano County District Attorney did not file criminal charges against McMahon, finding that it was reasonable for him to defend himself and noting that Foster assaulted McMahon with his flashlight while resisting arrest.

"It's disgusting, it's heartbreaking," said Angela Sullivan, Foster's aunt.

In an emailed statement to the I-Team, the Broadmoor Police Department writes in part:

"A thorough investigation of Officer McMahon's background for the Broadmoor Police Department was completed by a background investigator with more than 20 years of civilian and high-level military law enforcement and background investigations experience. The background investigation was completed in accordance with California state/POST guidelines. No applicant to the Broadmoor Police Department would be hired if any disqualifying information is received or uncovered during the course of the thorough background investigation."

"It doesn't surprise me, that's what they do with all the rejects," said Sullivan. "They just send them from one town to the other to go do more mayhem and killing."

McCoy added, "We understand the blue wall is going to protect their own, they're going to rehire their own."

In a wrongful termination lawsuit filed in 2020 by former Vallejo PD Captain John Whitney, Whitney alleged Vallejo Police Department firearms instructors alerted him in February of 2019 that McMahon had embedded the words "Veritas Aequitas" on his firearm endplate. The Latin words mean "truth and justice." McMahon's former attorney previously told the I-Team the inscription was related to his Roman Catholic faith and that the words truth and justice are "integral to the profession of policing." Also that the interim chief at the time determined he hadn't violated department policy.

Whitney also alleged that when McMahon surrendered his badge during an internal investigation into the matter, two points on his badge were bent, signifying the shootings of Foster and McCoy.

"They're celebrating these kids deaths by bending their badges," said Sullivan.

An attorney for officers with bent badges, Mike Rains, has told the I-Team the officers weren't celebrating, but were acknowledging having confronted a lethal force incident.

Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams previously told I-Team reporter Melanie Woodrow her office would not investigate allegations of badge bending.

VIDEO: Bay Area DA explains why she refused to probe fatal police shootings

Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams explains why she refused to investigate fatal Vallejo police shootings of Willie McCoy, Sean Monterrosa.

"We don't chase rumors, we don't chase rumors," Abrams said during a February interview with Woodrow.

Former Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams launched an independent, third party police misconduct investigation into badge bending.

Attorneys representing victims' families and attorneys representing Vallejo Police Officers both want the findings of that investigation publicly released.

The Vallejo Police Department previously told the I-Team the hold up was with the city attorney's office.

In the meantime, Sullivan and McCoy worry about McMahon being back on the streets.

"It's a nightmare, it's a nightmare," said Sullivan.

"He is viewed as a serial killer with a badge," said McCoy.

In its statement, the Broadmoor Police Department says:

"The Broadmoor Police Department is very proud of the people we hire because we are careful in our selection process. The background investigation is only one of many steps in the hiring process to ensure that we hire only those candidates we feel are well-suited to serve our community. Officer McMahon is an experienced veteran officer who, since joining our agency, has served the Broadmoor with fairness, equality, and constitutional policing. He is well-liked and respected by his peers and by members of the community we serve. The Broadmoor Police Department is looking forward to his continued service to our community."

Broadmoor police also thanked the I-Team for, "...providing us the opportunity to explain our extraordinarily thorough hiring practices."

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