Ohio police officer fired in fatal shooting of black man

A vigil for Andre Hill (AP)
1:56am, Tue 29 Dec 2020
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A white Ohio police officer was fired on Monday after bodycam footage showed him fatally shooting 47-year-old Andre Hill — a black man who was holding a mobile phone — and then refusing to administer first aid for several minutes.

Columbus police officer Adam Coy was fired hours after a hearing to determine his employment, Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus said in a statement.

“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,” the statement read.

“The shooting of Andre Hill is a tragedy for all who loved him in addition to the community and our Division of Police.”

Racial Injustice Columbus Police (AP)

Coy remains under criminal investigation for last week’s shooting.

The decision came after Mr Pettus concluded a hearing to determine whether the actions taken by Coy in the moments before and after the fatal shooting of Mr Hill on Tuesday were justified.

The public safety director upheld the recommendation of Police Chief Thomas Quinlan, who made a video statement on Christmas Eve, saying he had seen enough to recommend Coy be terminated.

Mr Quinlan expedited the investigation and bypassed procedure to file two departmental charges alleging critical misconduct against Coy in the death of Mr Hill.

“This is what accountability looks like. The evidence provided solid rationale for termination,” Mr Quinlan said after Coy’s termination. “Mr Coy will now have to answer to the state investigators for the death of Andre Hill.”

Members of the local Fraternal Order of Police attended the hearing on behalf of Coy, who decided not to attend.

Racial Injustice Columbus Police (AP)

Coy and another officer responded to a neighbour’s non-emergency call after 1am last Tuesday about a car in front of his house in the city’s north-west side that had been running, then shut off, then turned back on, according to a copy of the call released the following day.

Mayor Andrew Ginther said it remained unclear if that car had anything to do with Mr Hill.

Police bodycam footage showed Mr Hill emerging from a garage and holding up a mobile phone in his left hand seconds before he was fatally shot by Coy. There is no audio with the footage because the officer had not activated the body camera. An automatic “look back” feature captured the shooting without audio.

An investigation is also being conducted into the other officers who responded to the call that ended in Mr Hill being shot, who Mr Quinlan said also appear to have either failed to activate their body cameras or to render Mr Hill aid.

He said any others who violated department protocols would be held accountable.

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