Vallejo police officer fired over Ronnell Foster shooting

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VALLEJO, Calif. (KRON) – The Vallejo Police Department announced on Thursday that it had terminated Ryan McMahon, the officer involved in the February 2018 shooting of Ronnell Foster.

The termination, according to the department, was issued after an internal affairs investigation concluded that McMahon violated department policies by “engaging in unsafe conduct and neglect for basic firearm safety during the incident.”

“Any conduct outside the level of professionalism this City deserves will not be tolerated by the Vallejo Police Department,” Chief of Police Shawny Williams stated. “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.”

McMahon, who was also involved in the shooting of Vallejo rapper Willie McCoy in February 2019, shot Foster after trying to stop him for a minor bicycle infraction and after the situation escalated into a “violent physical struggle,” according to police.

Foster’s family filed a federal lawsuit a month after the incident, demanding the release of the officer’s body-camera footage. The lawsuit alleged the McMahon lied about a skirmish that preceded the shooting, according to court documents. It goes on to say that Foster was followed by police for no reason and a witness never saw him struggle with McMahon before the officer opened fire, the lawsuit alleged.

Video of the incident was released in 2019, over a year after the shooting.

Criminal charges were dropped against McMahon in January when the Solano County DA determined that use of force was warranted.

“After a thorough review of the officer involved shooing of Ronnell D. Foster of Vallejo, the Solano County District Attorney’s Office has concluded that the officer was justified in using deadly force on February 13, 2018,” the DA’s office said at the time of the announcement.

The City of Vallejo settled with Fosters family for $5.7 million on September 4 in one of the largest settlements involving a police officer shooting a black man in Bay Area history, according to the family’s attorney John Burris.

“[This shows] that there is an appreciation for African American lives in terms of them being misplaced and taken, that they are getting real value as they should like other ethnic groups do and that officers who are engaged in misconduct are held to answer,” Burris said of the settlement. “I am hopeful that we can bring about some significant change.”

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