UPDATED: 6:15 p.m. ET —
The police officer who killed an unarmed Black man in Ohio last week has been fired, according to a new report. Columbus Police Officer Adam Coy shot and killed Andre’ Hill within seconds of seeing him early Tuesday morning.
A leader at the local police union confirmed Coy’s firing with the Associated Press.
The firing came after local officials convened hours earlier on Monday to determine Coy’s employment status.
This is a breaking news story that will be updated as additional information becomes available.
The results from a preliminary autopsy revealed that the unarmed Black man killed by a police officer in Ohio last week was the victim of a homicide. Andre’ Hill was shot within seconds of Columbus Police Officer Adam Coy seeing him in the early morning hours of Tuesday. The fate of Coy, who neglected to activate his body camera before shooting Hill, was being decided Monday.
“Based on findings from the autopsy and medical death investigation, manner of death is homicide,” a brief letter from the Franklin County Coroner’s Office said in part. “Preliminary cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds.”
“It’s outrageous and unconscionable that an officer responding to a non-emergency call would default to concluding that Andre Hill was a threat and fire multiple, deadly rounds into him, when Andre was only holding a cell phone,” Ben Crump, the civil rights lawyer representing Hill’s family, tweeted Monday in response to the coroner’s letter.
“Andre Hill’s death is another tragic example of the tendency of police to view Black people as criminal or dangerous, and it points to the need for comprehensive, national police reform. The family wants to review all the bodycam footage as soon as possible,” Crump added.
Columbus officials on Monday held a hearing on whether to fire Coy, whose termination from the police force was recommended by Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. They pledged to make a “prompt decision” about Coy’s employment status, the Columbus Dispatch reported. In the meantime, Coy is on paid administrative leave.
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, Coy turned off his body camera leading up to the shooting but activated it directly afterward.
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 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.
Coy is a 17-year veteran.
“If you’re not going to turn on your body-worn camera, you cannot serve and protect the people of Columbus,” Ginther said Wednesday.
Hill’s police killing followed the fatal police shooting of Casey Goodson Jr., another Black man, who was shot in the back when cops purportedly mistook the sandwiches he was holding for a gun.
This is America.
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