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Adam Coy, Ohio officer who fatally shot unarmed Andre Hill, fired by Columbus Police

Police-Outreach Officers
Posted at 6:46 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 20:42:28-05

Adam Coy has officially been fired by Columbus Police, a week after an incident where he shot 47-year-old Andre Hill multiple times.

One day after last week’s incident, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther directed police to strip Coy of his duties, but Coy would remain on payroll and would be afforded a hearing due to the city's contract with the police union. On Monday, his firing was formalized.

Coy did not attend the hearing on Monday, opting to have members of the local police union argue his case.

Meanwhile, the Franklin County, Ohio, Coroner’s Office said on Monday that Hill died from “multiple” gunshot wounds.

The state's attorney general is now investigating for possible criminal charges.

"(Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigations) will conduct a complete, independent and expert investigation – a search for the truth. We conduct more officer involved shooting investigations than any agency in the State of Ohio, and will pursue every lead without favoritism or regard to politics," Ohio AG Dave Yost said.

Hill was holding a cellphone at the time of his death, based on a review of one of the responding officer's body-worn camera footage. Hill walked toward the officer with a cell phone in his left hand while his right hand was not visible.

Attorney Ben Crump and the Hill family issued a joint statement reacting to Monday's announcement.

"The Columbus Department of Public Safety made the correct decision to terminate Officer Adam Coy today. 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," the statement read.

Officers were called to the area for a report of a man sitting in an SUV, continually turning on and off the vehicle, police said.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Coy was involved in an excessive force complaint that resulted in the City of Columbus paying a $45,000 payout. Coy was suspended for 160 hours for the 2012 incident, but kept his job.

The shooting was the second time a citizen was killed by law enforcement within the city. Earlier this month, Casey Goodson Jr. was shot and killed by Franklin County Sheriff Deputy Jason Meade. Authorities said that investigators recovered a weapon on the scene, but a family attorney told CNN that Goodson was holding a sandwich at the time of the shooting. No charges have been filed in that case, and investigation is still ongoing.

During the shooting death of Goodson, deputies were not wearing body-worn cameras. When Coy shot Hill, Ginther said Coy did not turn on his camera until after the shooting. Ginther said that the body-worn cameras worn by Columbus Police have a 60-second “lookback” feature that captured video of the shooting. The lookback feature does not capture the audio.

"The Division invested millions of dollars in these cameras for the express purpose of creating a video and audio record of these kinds of encounters. They provide transparency and accountability, and protect the public, as well as officers, when the facts are in question," Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said.

On Monday, Ginther suggested other officers could face disciplinary action for not having their body camera turned on at the time of shooting, and for not providing aid to Hill.