The former Ohio police officer who shot and killed an unarmed Black man within seconds of seeing him last month had his bond set at a whopping $3 million on Friday afternoon as the prosecutor in Columbus kept the murder case moving swiftly.
Former Columbus Police Officer Adam Coy was indicted earlier this week for the murder of Andre Hill, felonious assault and dereliction of duty for failure to inform his fellow officer that he felt threatened during the fateful encounter in the early morning hours of Dec. 22. Hill, 47, was walking out of a home’s garage and only holding a cellphone when Coy shot him, bodycam video footage revealed. Coy failed to render any medical aid to Hill in the crucial minutes after the shooting.
Coy maintains that he mistook the phone for a gun and feared for his life, prompting him to shoot before identifying himself or giving any orders. He was accompanied by another officer who did not react with any force.
The bond hearing came one day after Hill’s family assembled at a press conference to express both their pleasure at the indictment and their demands for a conviction in the Ohio city’s most recent police killing of an unarmed Black man who posed no threat to law enforcement.
“We don’t want any excuses,” Shawna Barnett, Hill’s sister, said. “We want Adam Coy convicted of all charges.”
Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Hill’s family, said during the press conference that the charges were promising but cited multiple past instances of the same thing happening to police officers who gunned down unarmed Black people only to get acquitted of all charges.
“We are relieved this morning with the indictments, but we are not satisfied because we know an indictment does not mean convicted,” Crump said before adding later: “We don’t take these things for granted at all.”
Coy’s indictment was the latest fallout for the Columbus Police Department following the fatal police shooting of Casey Goodson Jr., who was shot in the back in Columbus on Dec. 4 when cops purportedly mistook the sandwiches the unarmed Black man was holding for a gun. Goodson was shot by officers who were investigating another incident as he entered his grandmother’s home.
The combination prompted the now-former Columbus police chief to get demoted last week.
Thomas Quinlan had been the chief of police since 2019 when he was chosen over Perry Tarrant, a former assistant police chief in Seattle, who is Black.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced he would move forward with appointing members to the city’s first Civilian Review Board, which will oversee the police department. The board was created after community members passed the votes in November.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation. Ginther asked U.S. Attorney Dave DeVillers to review the case for civil rights violations.
Coy was fired on Dec. 28. He and his partner were reprimanded for turning their cameras off prior to the shooting, then switching them on directly after the shooting. Initial footage of the shooting was captured from Coy’s camera using a “look back” feature which recorded about 60 seconds of footage without any audio prior to the time the camera was activated.
Hill laid on the ground for about 10 minutes before officers attempted chest compressions. The officers at the scene were prompted to do so by a supervising officer who inquired if any aid was given to Hill. He was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
A preliminary autopsy revealed that Hill’s cause of death was a homicide.