Rapper shot dead by police as he slept

The family of a US man shot by police as he slept in a car doubt they'll get justice.

Willie McCoy was passed out behind the wheel of his vehicle at a Taco Bell drive-thru in Vallejo, San Francisco, late on February 9 when armed police surrounded his car.

The 21-year-old African-American man had a gun in his lap, and an employee of the store had called 911.

Just-released bodycam footage shows six officers discussing how to retrieve the weapon.

"I'm thinking we snatch him out," one says. "I don't even want to give it a chance. I'm gonna go in there, I'm gonna grab that gun. And I'll yank him out. If he reaches for it, Yup."

After several minutes, McCoy moves for the first time. Four seconds later, the officers fire several shots into the vehicle, killing him.

At a press conference this week, McCoy's family said there was no indication he was reaching for the gun - which didn't have a clip in it, meaning it was either empty or only had one bullet.

"At no point in time did he lift his arm with a gun in it. No one sees that," said John Burris, attorney for the McCoy family.

"It's an execution by a firing squad," said the aspiring rapper's cousin Dave Harrison. "They killed him in his sleep. He scratched his arm in his sleep. And they murdered him. There is no justification."

Willie's older brother Marc said none of the officers identify themselves as police before opening fire.

Police didn't say how many bullets they fired. The family estimated he'd been hit by at least 25.

Senior police defended the officers' actions.

"When he woke up, you can see in the video that he leans forward, his left elbow and shoulder dip towards his lap where the gun was at," said Capt John Whitney of the Vallejo Police Department.

"He was reaching for the gun and at that point the officers shot him."

The officers involved are reportedly back on duty.