The police officer Adam Coy didn't turn on his camera until he shot Andre Hill and also failed to administer first aid.
Trigger warning: This report has details of police brutality and race-motivated violence
The police officer who shot and killed Andre Hill has been fired from his job, announced Public Safety Director, Ned Pettus Jr. Adam Coy, the Columbus, Ohio, police officer shot and killed an unarmed African American who was holding nothing but a phone. The decision to fire Adam Coy came following a disciplinary hearing held on Monday. Coy didn't attend the hearing but was represented by the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police. "The information, evidence, and representations made by Chief (Thomas) Quinlan as the investigator are, in my opinion, indisputable. His disciplinary recommendation is well-supported and appropriate," said Pettus, reported CNN. "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."
As we reported, the incident happened after someone dialed 911 and informed emergency services that a man had been sitting in an SUV for an extended period of time while repeatedly turning the ignition on and off. The cops arrived to investigate the scene and saw an open garage door with a man inside. He was holding a cell phone. The police officer shot him within seconds. He had no weapon on him. He was rushed to the hospital where he died an hour later. Quinlan said Coy should have de-escalated the situation using trained techniques such as "building rapport, communication skills, maintaining a safe distance, and utilizing a barrier." Quinlan also added that he didn't use "time, distance, barrier, communications and de-escalation" techniques to avoid shooting Hill.
Andre Hill was killed by a police officer who was responding to a non emergency call. https://t.co/tgZ7G1qCHN— Paige Southwick Pfleger (@PaigePfleger) December 29, 2020
Quinlan argued that there was more than sufficient evidence to warrant Coy's termination. Coy fatally shot Hill within seconds of their meeting. The bodycam footage showed Coy walking up to Andre Hill who was holding an illuminated cell phone in his left hand. The officer also failed to administer first aid after firing his gun at the Black man. "This is what accountability looks like," said Quinlan, before confirming that Coy will now have to answer to state investigators in connection with the case. Quinlan cited Coy's failure to activate his body-worn camera when responding to the call or during the incident or as one of the reasons why he sought Coy's firing. Coy had only turned on the camera after the shooting. The camera then activated the look-back feature that captured the 60 seconds prior to Coy turning it on. The department's rules state "sworn personnel shall activate (body-worn cameras) at the start of an enforcement action," which includes any call for service or self-initiated activity, according to a memo written by Quinlan.
"Known facts do not establish that this use of deadly force was objectively reasonable. You failed to de-escalate, and failed to render aid," wrote Pettus in his ruling. Pettus added that other officers at the scene will also be investigated. As of now, cops have only released Coy's camera footage. "Because of the potential for those cases to come before me, and to protect the integrity and impartiality of that process and any future ruling, it is not appropriate for me to comment further," said Pettus. Coy will be able to appeal his firing.
Mayor Andrew Ginther, who was highly critical of the police force when the incident happened, lauded the decision to fire the concerned police officer. "The family and the entire community deserve it. We expect transparency, accountability, and justice," said Ginther. According to NBC News, the mayor earlier stated, "Enough is enough. This community is exhausted. The African American community is fearful and concerned and outraged. This is a stunning disregard for life."
I'm not going to share the audio of the call Robert Roenker made to police that led to Andre Hill's murder, because it made me angry and I imagine it will make other people angry. That man called the police on a parked car. He should have been told to mind his fucking business.— Hanif Abdurraqib (@NifMuhammad) December 29, 2020
"We look forward to reviewing all the bodycam footage and determining everything that happened leading to Andre Hill's death," read a statement from Andre Hill's family. "There's a video that the family understands exists, that after seven minutes of him laying motionless on the ground, they did put him in handcuffs," said Crump, Hill's sibling. "So we're demanding that the other police bodycam video be released so the world can see that they continued to show disrespect to unarmed Black people."