Former Ohio Police Officer Charged with Murder in Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Black Man Andre Hill

Steve Helling
·3 min read

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The former Columbus, Ohio, policeman who allegedly fatally shot an unarmed Black man in December has been charged with murder and other felonies related to the incident.

Adam Coy was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on charges of murder in the commission of a felony, felonious assault and two counts of dereliction of duty. He will appear in court on Thursday.

Coy shot 47-year-old Andre Hill to death on December 22, police say. Columbus Police had been summoned to the area by a 911 caller who reported a man sitting in an SUV for an extended period of time while repeatedly turning the ignition on and off.

When officers arrived, they noticed an open garage door and a man inside. As cops approached the garage, Hill emerged, holding a cell phone in his left hand. His right hand was not visible.

Within seconds, police say Coy had shot Hill multiple times. It's unclear whether Hill and Coy spoke to each other, because Coy failed to activate his body camera until after he shot Hill. Still, the camera automatically activated and recorded 60 seconds of the episode -- but no audio was saved.

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The post-shooting body camera footage allegedly showed officers handcuffing an apparently lifeless Hill, and then standing around for five minutes and 11 seconds without rendering first aid. Hill was later taken to the hospital, where he died an hour later.

Officers later learned that the garage belonged to one of Hill's friends.

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Shortly after the shooting, Coy was fired from his job. At the time, Columbus Safety Director Ned Pettus, Jr., said that "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."

CNN reports that Coy's attorneys, Mark C. Collins and Kaitlyn C. Stephens, issued a statement on the indictment saying, "The grand jury only hears what the prosecuting attorney wants them to hear. There is no judge. There are no rules."

The statement continued: "The grand jury's function is singular -- to determine if there is probable cause to indict. This is a much different and more importantly, much lower standard than what the State of Ohio will have to prove come trial."

According to the attorneys, Coy will plead not guilty and request "a reasonable bond at the arraignment."

In a statement on Twitter, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther thanked the grand jury for their service. "The community was outraged by the killing of Andre Hill, an unarmed Black man, by law enforcement," Ginther wrote. "The indictment does not lessen the pain of his tragic death for Mr. Hill's loved ones, but it is a step towards justice."