Feb 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Ohio officer charged in fatal shooting of Andre Hill

People protesting Andre Hill's death in Columbus, Ohio, in December 2020.
People protesting Andre Hill's death in Colombus, Ohio, in December 2020. Photo: Stephen Zenner/AFP via Getty Images

An Ohio police office was charged with murder Wednesday in the fatal shooting of Andre Hill, an unarmed Black man, in Columbus, last December, AP reports.

Why it matters: Columbus Police Officer Adam Coy's indictment by a Franklin County grand jury followed an investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s office. Coy, who is white, also faces charges of dereliction of duty for failing to use his body camera and for not telling another officer he believed Hill presented a danger.

What they're saying: "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,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said at a news conference Wednesday night, according to AP.

  • “Truth is the best friend of justice, and the grand jury here found the truth," he added.

Context: Officers received a non-emergency call from a neighbor on Dec. 22 who allegedly reported a suspicious man in an SUV turning the car on and off for an extended period of time, per the Columbus Department of Public Safety.

  • As officers arrived at the scene, 47-year-old Hill exited a garage with a cellphone in his left hand. His right hand was not visible, the department said.
  • Coy opened fire, then ordered Hill to show his hands and roll over, per AP. Coy did not administer aid, video footage shows.
  • Coy, a 19-year veteran of the Columbus Police Force who had a long history of complaints from citizens, was fired in December 2020.

The big picture: Coy's indictment comes less than a week after Mayor Andrew Ginther ousted Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan out of his role because he lost confidence in the police chief's ability to make the necessary changes to the department, the Columbus Dispatch notes.

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