Ohio police officer charged in Andre Hill's death pleads not guilty

Ohio police officer charged in Andre Hill's death pleads not guilty
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The former Columbus, Ohio, police officer who was charged with murder this week in the fatal shooting of Andre Hill pleaded not guilty Friday, with a judge setting bond at $3 million. 

Franklin County Court records show that Adam Coy, who was fired by the local police department in December, pleaded not guilty to one count each of murder and felonious assault, along with two counts of dereliction of duty, which are second-degree misdemeanors. 

NPR reported that during Friday’s arraignment, at which Coy appeared virtually via video chat, prosecutors on behalf of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s (R) office requested a high bond. However, Coy’s lawyers attempted to argue the former police officer was neither a flight risk nor a threat to public safety. 

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Special prosecutor Anthony Pierson said during the hearing, “We don't see this very often, admittedly, but it did happen and a man lost his life.” 

Coy’s attorneys, Mark Collins and Kaitlyn Stephens, argued in a press conference following the arraignment that the bond was set too high and that they planned to appeal the decision, according to NPR. 

News of Coy's plea comes after the officer was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on Wednesday. Coy was indicted following an investigation by the attorney general’s office into the Dec. 22 fatal shooting of Hill, a 47-year-old Black man. 

According to police reports, Coy, a 17-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police, responded to a neighbor’s non-emergency call about a car running, turned off and then running again early in the morning. 

Body camera footage from the incident showed Hill coming out of a garage holding a cellphone, and, seconds later,  he was fatally shot by Coy. Yost’s office later noted that Hill was shot four times. 

The first minute of the video does not include audio because Coy did not activate his body camera until after Hill was shot. Coy can later be heard ordering Hill to comply with restraints.

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Coy along with other officers at the scene have also been accused of witholding aid from Hill for several minutes after he was shot. 

Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. announced in late December that Coy had been fired hours after a disciplinary hearing.

“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 wrote in a statement at the time. 

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