The Columbus, Ohio, police officer who last week fatally shot Andre Hill, a 47-year-old unarmed Black man, was fired on Monday, Dec. 28.
Columbus Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. said he would uphold Chief Thomas Quinlan’s recommendation that 44-year-old Adam Coy, a 19-year-veteran with the Columbus Division of Police, be terminated.
Following a Monday morning hearing on the matter — which Coy reportedly did not attend — Pettus said that “known facts do not establish that this use of deadly force was objectively reasonable.”
Coy shot Hill early in the morning of Dec. 22, after he and another officer responded to a neighbor’s non-emergency call about someone sitting in a vehicle turning it on and off repeatedly, and playing music.
Within 10 seconds of the encounter, Coy fired his weapon at Hill as he emerged from an open garage with a cell phone in his hand.
Neither Coy nor the other responding officer turned their body-worn cameras on prior to the shooting, and the dash camera was not activated because the officers were responding to a non-emergency call.
Coy activated his body-worn camera after firing his weapon, and the look-back feature captured and saved the footage of the shooting, without the audio.
“The information, evidence and representations made by Chief Quinlan as the investigator are, in my opinion, indisputable. His disciplinary recommendation is well-supported and appropriate,” Pettus said. “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 footage also showed the officers did not provide Hill, who was unarmed, with medical aid for several minutes after the shooting occurred. Footage released the day after the shooting sparked outrage.
Pettus outlined three key reasons justifying Coy’s termination: Coy violated the division’s use-of-force policy, failed to offer aid to Hill, and did not activate his body camera.
“Prior to shooting Mr. Hill, (Coy) did not attempt to use trained techniques to de-escalate the situation,” Pettus said.
The female officer who arrived at the scene with Coy has not yet been identified. Quinlan said an investigation into the other officer’s conduct is ongoing and that any officer who violated procedures will be held accountable.
According to spokesperson Sgt. James Fuqua, even though the call was a non-emergency call, the officers should have turned on their cameras as soon as they began interacting with Hill.
The Ohio Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the incident. Attorney General Dave Yost was appointed special prosecutor in Hill’s death. The FBI’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are also aiding in the investigation.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther released a statement, anticipating the presentation of evidence before a grand jury and potential federal charges against Coy from the U.S. Department of Justice.
“I applaud Safety Director Ned Pettus and Police Chief Tom Quinlan for their swift action in firing Mr. Coy for not using reasonable use of force consistent with Division policies, not activating his body-worn camera and not rendering aid to a dying Mr. Hill. This does not represent the values of the Columbus Division of Police,” Ginther said.
Hill is the second unarmed Black man shot by Ohio officers this month. Casey Goodson Jr, 23, was shot by a Franklin County sheriff on Dec. 11 as he entered his grandmother’s home. A Youngstown community group held a vigil for both men on Sunday night, calling for changes to be made.
“When you see a wrongdoing and do nothing about it, you’re being a silent witness,” Lekeila Houser, a Youngstown State University senior and Mahoning Valley Sojourn to the Past member, said. “These men were wrongfully killed by those who are supposed to protect us.”