Ohio police officer who fatally shot Andre Hill has been terminated

Ohio police officer who fatally shot Andre Hill has been terminated
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The Ohio police officer who fatally shot Andre Hill was terminated from the Columbus Police Department, officials announced on Monday. 

Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. announced that officer Adam Coy, who is white, was fired hours after his disciplinary hearing to determine if he could stay on the force after shooting and killing the unarmed 47-year-old Black man on Tuesday. 

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

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Police Chief Thomas Quinlan had recommended last week that Coy be immediately terminated after his fatal shooting of Hill. 

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

Coy did not appear for his disciplinary hearing and was instead represented by the local Fraternal Order of Police. 

“Officer Coy was given the opportunity today to come and participate,” Brian Steel, vice president of the police union, told reporters Monday, according to The Associated Press. “He elected not to participate. I do not know why. ... I would have liked to have him here, but it’s his decision.”

The officer’s termination came hours after the Franklin County coroner ruled Hill’s death a homicide, with a preliminary autopsy report listing the cause of death as “multiple gunshot wounds.”

Outside the disciplinary review, Coy also remains under criminal investigation for the shooting within Ohio’s criminal investigations unit. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) was appointed last week to serve as a special prosecutor in Hill’s case. 

Coy, a 17-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police, responded to a neighbor’s nonemergency call about a car running, turned off and then running again after 1 a.m. last Tuesday, the AP reported. 

Body camera footage showed Hill coming out of a garage with a cellphone and seconds later being fatally shot by Coy. The first minute of the video does not include audio because Coy did not activate his body camera during the incident. 

After shooting Hill, Coy can be heard ordering him to comply with restraints. He and other officers on the scene are accused of not giving aid to Hill for several minutes. Officials are also conducting an investigation into allegations that the other officers present did not turn on their body cameras, according to the AP.

The division requires its officers to turn on their body cameras when responding to a major incident such as a shooting. Police spokesperson Sgt. James Fuqua told the AP that the incident became a law enforcement action when Coy communicated with Hill. 

Hill’s death comes after racial justice protests erupted across the country this year over the police-involved killings of several Black Americans, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. 

Earlier Monday, civil rights lawyer Ben Crump, who is representing Hill’s family, called his death “another tragic example of the tendency of police to view Black people as criminal or dangerous.”