Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie Everyone. So I got some very sad news to report. An unarmed black man was murdered by a police officer in Ohio earlier this month.
Body camera footage that was released on Wednesday December 23,2020 shows Andre Hill, who is a 47 year old Black man, emerging from a garage and holding up a cellphone in his left hand seconds before he is fatally shot by a Columbus police officer.
The video shows six seconds between the time Hill is visible in the video and when the officer fires his weapon early Tuesday. There is no audio because the officer hadn’t activated the body camera; an automatic “look back” feature captured the shooting without audio.
Without audio, it’s unclear whether the officer, identified as Adam Coy, yelled any commands at Hill, whose right hand isn’t visible in the video. Authorities say no weapon was recovered from the scene. The city says Hill was visiting someone at the time.
Hill lay on the garage floor for several minutes without any officer on the scene coming to his aid. That violates a policy requiring officers to help the injured, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther claimed, for Coy to be fired as a result.
After Coy activates the audio, he is heard using an expletive as he yells at Hill, now lying on the garage floor, to put his “hands off to the side! Hands out to the side now!” A few seconds later, Coy yells at Hill, “Roll to your stomach now,” and then: “Get your hand up from underneath you, now!”
Coy then asks a dispatcher, “We got a medic coming” and yells, “Don’t move, dude!” to Hill as he lies on his side groaning. Hill died less than an hour later at a hospital.
Coy also violated departmental policies requiring his camera’s full video and audio functions to have been activated, According to Ginther.
Ginther and Police Chief Thomas Quinlan have expressed anger that Coy did not activate his body camera beforehand. The 60 second look back feature captured the shooting.
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.
Beyond that, officers must turn the cameras on “at the start of an enforcement action or at the first reasonable opportunity to do so,” according to the policy.
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 shooting.
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.
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. In addition to an internal police investigation, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost was appointed a special prosecutor in the death of Hill.
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.