The family of an unarmed Black man who was fatally shot within seconds of being seen by a white police officer will receive the largest settlement in the history of Columbus, Ohio.
Andre Hill‘s family will be paid $10 million by the city of Columbus, which has a notorious police department that’s been under heavy scrutiny following a spate of controversial killings of Black people in recent months. As part of the settlement, the city will rename a local gym after Hill that he used to frequent.
The Associated Press reported that Columbus officials acknowledged, “No amount of money will ever bring Andre Hill back to his family.”
The lawyers representing Hill’s family welcomed the settlement as a step toward receiving justice for the shooting.
“The Hill family and their legal team, attorneys Ben Crump, Richard W. Schulte, and Michael Wright, want to thank the City of Columbus and its leaders for doing the right thing,” a statement emailed to NewsOne read. “By agreeing to a financial resolution with the family and renaming the Brentnell Community Center Gymnasium after Andre Hill, now all those involved can begin to heal.”
Hill, 47, was shot in the early hours of Dec. 22 while emerging from a friend’s garage when since-fire Columbus Police Officer Adam Coy explicitly opened fire. Hill was only holding a cellphone at the time he was shot.
To add insult to literal injury, Coy — a 17-year veteran of the force — and another police officer failed to render first aid to Hill during the crucial minutes after the shooting. It took about 10 minutes before a different officer responding performed chest compressions on Hill.
Coy was fired nearly a week later after results from a preliminary autopsy revealed that Hill’s manner of death was a homicide. In February, he was arrested and indicted for murder, felonious assault and dereliction of duty for failure to inform his fellow officer that he felt threatened.
Coy’s indictment followed 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 he was holding for a gun. Goodson was shot by officers who were investigating another incident as he entered his grandmother’s home.
Both shootings prompted the now-former Columbus police chief to get demoted last week.
In additional evidence of how out of control the Columbus Police Department is, a police officer shot and killed a Black teenager named Ma’Khia Bryant on the same day that Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.
This is America.
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