UPDATED: 7:00 a.m. ET, Dec. 24 —
Columbus, Ohio police on Wednesday released body camera footage from the police shooting that killed a 47-year-old Black man, identified as Andre’ Hill, earlier this week, according to the Associated Press. Hill, who was armed only with a cell phone, is the second Black man fatally shot in the city by police in recent weeks following the tragic shooting of Casey Goodson Jr., who was killed while holding a sandwich.
An attorney who has represented the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor says he is now working for the family of Andre' Hill, the man killed by a Columbus police officer early Tuesday.https://t.co/9yXaqYKHfu
— NBC4 Columbus (@nbc4i) December 24, 2020
On Wednesday, protesters gathered in front of City Hall with a sign that read, “Columbus Is Not Safe For Black People.”
“This city, not only is not safe for black people, but the city officials, they’ll say one thing and do another and we just want people to be aware of that and to continue to organize,” said Hana Abdur-Rahim, the co-executive director of Central Ohio Freedom Fund, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Hill’s case stirred national sentiment over the revelation that he was holding a cell phone, not a weapon, when he was shot early Tuesday morning. No weapons were recovered at the scene. In addition, police turned off their body cameras leading up to the shooting, but activated it directly after.
According to police, the shooting happened around 1:37 a.m. when officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle. The non-emergency call described a man sitting in a vehicle who turned it off and on several times.
The video, which has no audio, was retrieved through a “look back” feature and shows officer Adam Coy as he approaches Hill. There is no way to know what words were exchanged between the two. Six seconds go by between Hill’s appearance in the video and Coy firing his weapon.
However after Coy turned the camera back on, he can be heard yelling expletives while Hill lays on the ground. Coy commands Hill to place his “hands off to the side,” and also tells him to roll over so that he can expose his right hand.
The video also shows that police delayed offering Hill medical aid after dispatching a medic.
Police claimed when officers arrived they found a man inside of a garage who “walked toward the officer with a cell phone in his left hand,” and fired after not being able to make out what was in his right hand.
Hill was visiting someone at the residence and died less than an hour after arriving at the hospital. His family retained civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump as representation.
This morning we learned of the killing of another Black man at the hands of law enforcement. Our community is still raw and exhausted from the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and, most recently, Casey Goodson, Jr., right here in Columbus.
— Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) December 22, 2020
Due to the video Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has called for Coy’s termination.
“In this case, the chief of police directly observed what he believes to be potential critical misconduct and is taking an intervening action of relief of duty until a disciplinary investigation can be completed,” said Glenn McEntyre, a spokesperson for the city Department of Public Safety.
Coy, a 17-year veteran, was paid on temporary paid leave whenGinther demanded swift action after the body camera being switched off was made public.
“While it is very early in the investigation, there is one fact that disturbs me greatly,” Ginther said in a news conference Tuesday, according to WOSU. “The officer involved did not turn on their body-worn camera until after the shooting.”
“If you’re not going to turn on your body-worn camera, you cannot serve and protect the people of Columbus,” Ginther continued.
“The Division invested millions of dollars in these cameras for the express purpose of creating a video and audio record of these kinds of encounters,” said Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan. “They provide transparency and accountability, and protect the public, as well as officers, when the facts are in question.”
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation. Mayor Ginther asked U.S. Attorney Dave DeVillers, to review the case for civil rights violations.