Police chief: Ohio officer who fatally shot unarmed Black man should be fired

Police chief: Ohio officer who fatally shot unarmed Black man should be fired
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The police chief in Columbus, Ohio, is urging the immediate firing of an officer seen fatally shooting an unarmed Black man on body camera footage released earlier this week. 

Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said in a statement Thursday he filed two departmental charges alleging critical misconduct against the officer, Adam Coy, and is recommending his termination after an expedited investigation sustained those charges. 

Body camera footage released by the department Wednesday shows Coy fatally shooting Andre Maurice Hill early Tuesday morning. 

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Coy can be seen with another officer approaching Hill’s garage. About 47 seconds into the video, Hill can be seen walking out of his garage with a phone in one hand and his right hand is not visible. Coy appears to shoot Hill just seconds later, and Hill can be seen falling to the ground. 

Quinlan said he is bypassing the typical step of a hearing before the police chief in deciding the determination of any wrongdoing or discipline based on viewing the body camera footage. 

“I have seen everything I need to see to reach the conclusion that Officer Coy must be terminated, immediately. Some may call this a rush to judgment. It is not,” Quinlan  said. 

“We have an officer who violated his oath to comply with the rules and policies of the Columbus Division of Police. And the consequences of that violation are so great, it requires immediate action. This violation cost an innocent man his life,” Quinlan added. 

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther (D) had called for Coy’s “immediate termination.” 

Eight Democratic state lawmakers in the area issued a joint statement calling the killing “horrific,” The Associated Press reported. 

The lawmakers noted that a local sheriff’s deputy, Jason Meade, fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. in an incident just weeks earlier that sparked protests across the city. 

“It is clear the seeds of mutual mistrust between this community and its police force have been sown,” the Democrats said in the joint statement, according to the AP. “This mistrust does not stem merely from deaths of Casey Goodson and Andre Hill, it has just grown wider with each incidence of violence. There must be transparency and accountability for the loss of life, as well as a commitment to change.”

Crowds gathered on Christmas Eve to protest, holding Black Lives Matter signs, in the Columbus neighborhood where Hill was fatally shot, The Columbus Dispatch reported

More than 100 people gathered for a vigil and protest Thursday, the newspaper reported.