Ronell Foster

Ronell Foster

February 13, 2018
Ronell Foster
Ronell Foster

Ronell Foster was riding his bicycle through the streets of Vallejo, CA, one evening when a police officer noticed that the bike had no lights and that he was weaving in and out of traffic.

The officer, Ryan McMahon, went after Foster with lights flashing, siren blaring and the car's spotlight pointed directly at him. Foster stopped. The pair exchanged words before Foster, who was on community supervision for a car theft conviction a month earlier, fled, eventually ditching the bicycle. McMahon caught up with Foster and jumped on top of him. The two struggled. McMahon, a rookie on the force, tasered the father of two and struck him several times with his department-issued flashlight. Gunfire erupted — seven shots total. When it was over, Foster, 33, lay dying in the bushes in a darkened courtyard near an apartment complex.

Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams declined to bring charges against McMahon, who is white, saying the February 2018 fatal shooting of Foster, who was Black and unarmed, was justified. In a Jan. 31, 2020 letter to the Vallejo police chief, Abrams said that Foster "posed an immediate and extreme threat" to McMahon and that it was "objectively reasonable for Officer McMahon to defend himself and open fire on Foster."

A year later, he shot again.

This time it was aspiring rapper Willie McCoy.

Cheryl W. Thompson

Ronell Foster

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