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Ohio cop fired over fatal shooting of Andre Hill

Andre Hill's family reacts to cop's firing
Andre Hill's family says Columbus officer's firing is first step toward justice after shooting 02:23

A Columbus police officer has been fired over the fatal shooting of a Black man in a case that has sparked national outrage, the city's director of public safety announced Monday. The decision to fire Adam Coy, who was identified by authorities as the officer who shot and killed 47-year-old Andre Hill last week, comes after the city's police chief called the shooting "horrific" and recommended Coy's termination. 

"Monday morning I held a disciplinary hearing for Columbus Police Officer Adam Coy. I am upholding Chief Quinlan's recommendation to terminate Mr. Coy," Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. said in a statement, adding, "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." 

Authorities said the shooting occurred after a neighbor reported that a person was turning the engine of an SUV on and off at around 1:30 a.m. Body camera footage from the scene showed Coy exiting his vehicle and approaching Hill, who was standing inside a garage. As Hill walked toward the officer holding his cellphone, Coy fired his weapon. Hill immediately fell to the ground, as Coy yelled commands for him to show his hands. 

The video did not show Coy providing CPR or other medical care. Hill later died of his injuries. A preliminary autopsy report released Monday ruled Hill's death a homicide, and said he died of multiple gunshot wounds. 

Andre Hill is shown in an image provided by his family's attorney Benjamin Crump

The city's mayor said the day after the shooting that Hill was an expected guest at the residence and was not an intruder. The mayor also said that Coy did not turn on his body camera until after the shooting — but he said a 60-second automatic "look back" feature captured the incident without sound. 

Two days after the shooting, Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced that he was taking action to fire Coy by recommending his termination to Pettus. Quinlan said that after investigating Coy's use of deadly force, his failure to activate his body camera and his failure to render aid to Hill, he chose to bypass the typical step of granting Coy a hearing. 

"I have seen everything I need to see to reach the conclusion that Officer Coy must be terminated, immediately," he wrote in a public statement announcing his recommendation.

In his letter to Pettus, Quinlan said Coy "had no immediate cause to believe criminal activity was afoot and certainly had no predisposition to believe Mr. Hill presented any threat to officers," adding that Coy "has violated his right to hold his position as a police officer."  

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Hill's family, has called for Coy to be arrested. He called the firing the "correct decision" in a Monday statement, and emphasized the 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 Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting. Quinlan also noted that additional officers involved in the incident would be investigated for potentially failing to activate their body cameras or to render aid to Hill.

Quinlan heralded the firing, writing in a statement that "This is what accountability looks like." He added that Coy "will now have to answer to the state investigators for the death of Andre Hill."

The shooting comes as the city is reeling from another fatal shooting of a Black man by police just weeks earlier. On December 4, a sheriff's deputy killed 23-year-old Casey Goodson on his grandmother's doorstep. The shooting, which was not captured on body camera footage, is being investigated by Columbus police, the Department of Justice and the FBI. 

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