Former Columbus, Ohio police officer Adam Coy was indicted on Wednesday in the shooting death of Andre Hill, an unarmed black man.
On December 22, 2020, shortly after 1 a.m., police received a nonemergency call from a resident who said there was a car in front of his house that was idling before being turned off only to be turned back on again. Coy and another police officer responded to the call.
Coy did not turn his body camera on until after the shooting, but a look-back featured captured 60 seconds of video without audio leading up to and including the shooting. Hill can be seen walking out of a garage in the neighborhood holding his phone up in his left hand. His right hand can’t be seen, but within seconds of police approaching Hill, Coy shoots him.
Audio is turned on just after the shooting, which CNN described as showing:
The first few seconds of Coy’s body camera video in which audio is available show Coy ordering Hill to get his hands out to the side, ordering him to get on his stomach, warning an officer to not get close because one of Hill’s arms is under the car where he collapsed.
About 37 seconds after the shooting, Coy asked whether a medic was coming. A report prepared by the Columbus police chief after the shooting said an officer who responded with Coy said she heard Coy say he saw a gun, and that Coy yelled, “There’s a gun in his other hand, there’s a gun in his other hand!”
No weapons were recovered from the scene. Coy’s bodycam footage showed a delay between the shooting and when officers went to help Hill. Fox News reported that “two other Columbus officers rolled Hill over and put handcuffs on him before leaving him alone again.”
Hill was a guest at the home where he was shot. It is unclear what was said between him and the officer just prior to the shooting. Coy was fired in December for failing to turn on his body camera prior to the confrontation and for not providing medical aid as Hill lay dying on the driveway.
“In this case, the citizens of Franklin County, represented by the individual grand jurors, found probable cause to believe that Mr. Coy committed a crime when he killed Andre Hill by gunfire,” Attorney General Dave Yost said during a press briefing after a grand jury indicted Coy.
Fox reported that Coy had “a long history of complaints from citizens.”
Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing Hill’s family, released a statement following the grand jury indictment against Coy.
“We are encouraged by the decision of the grand jury to hold Office [sic] Coy accountable for his reckless action, resulting in the tragic death of Andre Hill. Officer Coy claimed, ‘there’s a gun in his other hand,’ while Andre clearly held a phone. Though nothing will bring back Andre’s life and relieve his family’s grief, this is an important step toward justice.”
Coy’s attorneys, Mark C. Collins and Kaitlyn C. Stephens, released their own statement following the indictment.
“The grand jury only hears what the prosecuting attorney wants them to hear. There is no judge. There are no rules,” they said. “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.”
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