POLICE

Ohio police officer fired in fatal shooting of Black man

Dec 28, 2020, 4:36 PM
Ohio fatal...
A vigil is held for Andre' Hill at the Brentnell Community Recreation Center on Columbus. Ohio, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020. The police chief of Columbus, Ohio, recommended on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2020, that the officer who shot and killed Hill, a 47-year-old Black man, earlier this week be fired. (Gaelen Morse/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)
(Gaelen Morse/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

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 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 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 the 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.

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.

“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 reform.

___

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.

 

Today’s Top Stories

Police

Image from the scene of the shooting on South Major street in Salt Lake City (Photo courtesy of SLC...
Chandler Holt

UPDATE: SLCPD investigating party shooting that left one in critical condition

Police received multiple calls regarding shots fired near 1485 South Major Street at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday July 3, 2022. 
17 hours ago
The scene of the shooting at 900 S. 200 West (Photo courtesy of Adam Sotelo)...
Chandler Holt

UPDATE: Shooting on TRAX platform leaves one dead, one injured

Police responded to reports of shots fired on a TRAX platform near 900 South and 200 West at around 10 p.m. on Saturday night.
17 hours ago
SUV Crashes into Famous Footwear in Sugar House....
Waverly Golden

Update: Vehicle crashes into Famous Footwear, leaving four injured

A crash at a Famous Footwear in Sugar House leaves four injured.
2 days ago
Photo of Riverton Police, the ones who sent out the amber alert, vehicle...
Mark Jones

8-year-old boy struck by car in Riverton, suffers head injury

Riverton police an 8-year-old boy suffered a head injury Friday night after a collision with a vehicle. The boy was transported to Primary Children's Hospital.
3 days ago
Utah deadliest days UHP investigates double fatal accident....
Mark Jones

One person dead in three-vehicle crash in southern Utah

The Utah Highway Patrol reports that one person died Friday following a three-vehicle crash in southern Utah. One other person was transported to the hospital with injuries.
3 days ago
draper shooting police...
Mark Jones

Party ban becomes permanent for Airbnb

Airbnb announced this week that it is placing permanent ban on disruptive parties. In April, two people died in a shooting at an Airbnb in Draper.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Ohio police officer fired in fatal shooting of Black man