x

Society

Ohio Police Officer Fired in Fatal Shooting of Black Man

December 29, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — 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 failing 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 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.

“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 decision.”

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 Wednesday.

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

Police 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.

Hill lay on the garage floor for several minutes without any officer on the scene coming to his aid.

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 Fuqua.

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

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 reform.

“The termination of Adam Coy from Columbus Division of Police does not bring Andre Hill back to those who love him," Ginther said in a statement Monday.

Hill's family issued a statement through attorney Ben Crump's law firm, calling the decision to fire Coy “correct” but urging law enforcement to do more.

“We need to redefine a relationship between police and communities of color in which it doesn't turn deadly for a Black person with a cell phone to encounter a law enforcement officer,” the statement said.

___

By FARNOUSH AMIRI Report for America/Associated Press

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.

RELATED

NEW YORK — The 22-year-old New York City police officer who was shot to death while responding to a call in a Harlem apartment came from an immigrant family and grew up in a community with strained police relations, but joined the force to make a difference in the "chaotic city," he once wrote.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

Greece: Heavy Snowfall is Expected on Monday, Schools to Remain Closed in Attica (Vid)

ATHENS - Schools of all levels of education will remain closed throughout Attica on Monday and Tuesday, January 24-25, due to extreme weather conditions.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.