Body camera footage released this week shows an unarmed Black man being fatally shot by police in Ohio while holding up a cellphone. The man, 47-year-old Andre Hill, died at a local hospital early Tuesday morning shortly after his encounter with a Columbus police officer.
The incident began as Officer Adam Coy responded to an unrelated call concerning a suspicious vehicle and came upon Hill as he walked out of a friend’s garage.
Within six seconds of seeing Hill, who approached the officer with his phone in his left hand, Coy opened fire.
Details leading up to the police shooting remain scarce as no audio is available during the moment of the gun firing. Coy had not turned on his bodycam prior to approaching Hill, although an audio-less version of the footage was still available thanks to the camera’s 60-second “look back” feature.
After activating his bodycam, Coy can be heard issuing several commands at Hill as he lay on the ground.
“Roll to your stomach now!” Coy says before ordering Hill to “get your hand up from underneath you, now!”
Although Coy calls for medics some time after, the officer left Hill on the ground for several minutes without rendering any medical aid.
While Hill’s right hand was not visible in the footage, police indicated that Hill was unarmed after stating that no weapon was recovered on the scene.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has since argued that Coy violated numerous policies by not offering aid and for failing to turn on his bodycam prior to the incident.
Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan says two departmental charges alleging critical misconduct have now been filed against Coy, who was ordered to hand over his badge and firearm while an investigation is ongoing.
“Today is Christmas Eve. A time when we should be gathering with those we love,” Quinlan said, via CNN. “The family of Andre Hill has nothing to celebrate this holiday, someone very important won’t be with them this holiday, or any other. A Columbus police officer is responsible for that. And that breaks my heart.”
Quinlan is now calling for Coy to be fired without a hearing based on the bodycam footage.
“I have seen everything I need to see, to reach the conclusion that Officer Coy must be terminated immediately,” Quinlan said. “Some may call this a rush to judgment. It is not. This violation cost an innocent man his life.”
As noted by the Associated Press, Coy has received more than three dozen complaints against him since joining the department in 2002. While nearly all the complaints are related to abusive language, the city was forced to pay a man $45,000 in 2002 after Coy banged his head against the hood of a car.
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