Ohio Police Officer Fired After Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Man Andre Hill

Ohio Police Officer Fired After Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Man Andre Hill
People hold signs spelling the name of Andre Hill, who was shot and killed by a police officer last week, as they participate in a demonstration in Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 28, 2020. (Stephen Zenner/AFP/Getty Images)
Tom Ozimek

The police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man in Columbus, Ohio, last week, has been fired, according to the city’s police chief.

Officer Adam Coy was terminated on Monday after bodycam footage showed him fatally shooting 47-year-old Andre Hill, who was holding a cellphone, and failing to administer first aid for several minutes.

Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said in a statement on Dec. 28 that, “the evidence provided solid rationale for termination.”

“Mr. Coy will now have to answer to the state investigators for the death of Andre Hill,” Quinlan wrote. “This is what accountability looks like,” he added.

Quinlan said in a statement issued on Dec. 24 that he had initiated action to terminate Coy, with a key step in this process being a hearing before the Public Safety Director, which took place on Monday.

Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. said in a statement that Coy was fired hours after a hearing was held to determine his employment status.

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

Hill’s family and attorney Ben Crump, in a joint statement, praised the decision to fire Coy.

“The Columbus Department of Public Safety made the correct decision to terminate Officer Adam Coy today,“ they wrote. ”We look forward to reviewing all the bodycam footage and determining everything that happened leading to Andre Hill’s death. We need to redefine a relationship between police and communities of color in which it doesn’t turn deadly for a black person with a cell phone to encounter a law enforcement officer.”

Coy remains under criminal investigation for last week’s shooting, and a probe is also being conducted into the other officers who responded to the call that ended in Hill being shot.

According to a police statement issued by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, Coy and another officer responded to a neighbor’s non-emergency call after 1 a.m. Tuesday about a car in front of his house in the city’s northwest side that had been running, then shut off, then turned back on several times.
Officers who arrived at the scene saw a garage door open and a man inside, who then walked towards the officers with a cell phone in his hand, while his right hand was not visible, the statement indicated. Coy fired his weapon, striking the man—later identified as Hill—who was taken to hospital and pronounced dead several hours later, with the cause of death due to multiple gunshot wounds.

Police also said in the statement that there was a delay in administering first aid to Hill.

No weapon was recovered at the scene and a preliminary investigation showed Hill was visiting someone at the home, according to the statement.

“This is a tragedy on many levels,” Quinlan wrote in the statement. “Most importantly a life has been lost.”

“If evidence determines that laws or policies were violated, officers will be held accountable,” he added.