Ohio police officer fired in fatal shooting of Black man

Ohio police officer fired in fatal shooting of Black
man 1

demonstrator holds a sign condemning Officer Adam Coy at a press
conference and candlelight vigil for Andre Hill in Columbus, Ohio
on December 26, 2020. | Getty

Columbus police officer Adam Coy was fired hours after a hearing
was held to determine his employment, Columbus Public Safety
Director Ned Pettus Jr. said in a statement.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A white Ohio police officer was fired Monday
after bodycam footage showed him fatally shooting 47-year-old Andre
Hill — a Black man who was holding a cellphone — and refusing
to administer first aid for several minutes.

Columbus police officer Adam Coy was fired hours after a hearing
was held to determine his employment, Columbus Public Safety
Director Ned Pettus Jr. said in a statement.

“The actions of Adam Coy do not live up to the oath of a
Columbus Police officer, or the standards we, and the community,
demand of our officers,” the statement read. “The shooting of
Andre Hill is a tragedy for all who loved him in addition to the
community and our Division of Police.”

Coy remains under criminal investigation for last week’s

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The decision came after Pettus concluded a hearing to determine
whether the actions taken by Coy in the moments before and after
the fatal shooting of Hill on Tuesday were justified. The public
safety director upheld the recommendation of Police Chief Thomas
Quinlan, who
made a video statement Christmas Eve,
saying he had seen enough
to recommend Coy be terminated.

Quinlan expedited the investigation and bypassed procedure to
file two departmental charges alleging critical misconduct against
Coy in the death of Hill.

“This is what accountability looks like. The evidence provided
solid rationale for termination,” Quinlan said after Coy’s
termination Monday afternoon. “Mr. Coy will now have to answer to
the state investigators for the death of Andre Hill.”

Members of the local Fraternal Order of Police attended the
hearing on behalf of Coy, who was not in attendance, according to a
statement from Pettus’ office.

“Officer Coy was given the opportunity today to come and
participate,” Brian Steel, vice president of the police union,
told reporters Monday. He elected not to participate. I do not know
why … I would have liked to have him here, but it’s his

Coy and another officer responded to a neighbor’s nonemergency
call after 1 a.m. Tuesday about a car in front of his house in the
city’s northwest side that had been running, then shut off, then
turned back on, according to a copy of the call released

Mayor Andrew Ginther said it remains unclear if that car had
anything to do with Hill.

bodycam footage
showed Hill emerging from a garage and holding
up a cellphone in his left hand seconds before he was fatally shot
by Coy. There is no audio because the officer hadn’t activated
the body camera; an automatic “look back” feature captured the
shooting without audio.

An investigation is also being conducted into the other officers
who responded to the call that ended in Hill being shot, who
Quinlan said also appear to have either failed to activate their
body cameras or to render Hill aid. He said any others who violated
department protocols will be held accountable.

Officers must activate their body cameras as soon as they are
dispatched to a major incident such as a shooting, robbery or
burglary, under departmental policy. Although Coy was dispatched on
a nonemergency call, the call became an enforcement action when the
officer interacted with Hill because that was separate from the
original call, said police department spokesperson Sgt. James

In addition to an internal police investigation, Ohio Attorney
General Dave Yost was appointed a special prosecutor in the death
of Hill on Thursday.

“We will do our duty based on the facts and the law,” Yost
said in a tweet. “Whatever the outcome, someone will be angry —
but the decision will be objective.”

There is also an investigation under the state’s criminal
investigations unit, under Yost, with assistance from the U.S.
attorney’s office and the FBI’s Civil Rights Division.

Coy, a 17-year member of the force, was relieved of duty,
ordered to turn in his gun and badge, and stripped of police powers
last week.

The killing of Hill at the hands of Columbus police follows the

fatal shooting of Casey Goodson Jr.
on Dec. 4 by a white
Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy. The two back-to-back shootings
have resulted in an outpour of criticism from advocates and the
Black community in Columbus for wider and more comprehensive police


Farnoush Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report
for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a
nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local
newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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