Officer Adam Coy has been fired from the Columbus Division of Police in Ohio after he fatally shot Andre Hill, a Black man, officials announced on Monday after a disciplinary hearing.
Police Chief Tom Quinlan announced on December 24 that he was officially recommending the termination of Coy, who shot Hill in an encounter during a response to a nonemergency call. Quinlan said he was charged by the department with critical misconduct.
Coy and another officer were responding to a call about a “car in the street that was being turned on and off” on December 22, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement last week. The officers found Hill sitting inside the vehicle. He then walked toward the pair while holding up a cell phone. Coy then shot Hill.
“Mr. Hill was known to the residents of the home where his car was parked on the street and he was an expected guest. He was not intruder,” Ginther said.
Body-worn camera footage shows Coy shooting Hill, as well as waiting before rendering aid to Hill. Coy did not turn on the camera until after he shot Hill, but a function of the camera captures footage from the previous 60 seconds without the audio, NPR reports.
Quinlan said that although a recommendation for termination would typically come after a hearing within the department, he “bypassed that step.”
“Like all of you, I witness [Coy’s] critical misconduct firsthand via his body-worn camera. I have seen everything I need to see to reach the conclusion that Officer Coy must be terminated immediately,” Quinlan said in a statement last week. “Some may call this a rush to judgement. It is not. We have an officer who violated his oath to comply with the rules and policies of Columbus Division of Police, and the consequences of those violations are so great it requires immediate action. This violation cost an innocent man his life.”
Public Safety Director Ned Pettus, who NPR says is the only person with authority to fire Columbus officers, held a disciplinary hearing on Monday, where he agreed with the recommendation to fire Coy.
“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,” Pettus wrote in a statement. “The shooting of Andre Hill is a tragedy for all who loved him, in addition to the community and our Division of Police.”
Officials confirmed that an investigation into the roles of the other officers involved in the incident are still pending.
“I cannot fathom the pain Andre Hill’s family is feeling right now,” Quinlan said. “He was taken from them by violence — preventable violence, senseless violence. This didn’t have to happen, and it never should have.”
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Ohio Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair.
Photo “Andre Hill Poster” by Becker1999. CC BY 2.0.