Columbus City Council gets first look at Andrè’s Law, could be passed next week

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Columbus City Council got its first look at Andrè’s Law Monday, part of the council’s effort to improve policing.

The legislation is named for Andrè Hill, an unarmed 47-year-old man shot and killed by former Columbus Police officer Adam Coy on the city’s north side a little more than a month ago.

No vote or any other action was taken on the proposed law Monday, but City Council President Shannon Hardin said a vote could come as soon as next week.

Hill was a father, brother, and friend to many. According to police, he was shot and killed as officers responded to a non-emergency call on Dec. 22.

Hill’s attorney said he was visiting a family friend at the time of the shooting.

After he was shot by Coy, body camera video shows Hill laid motionless for more than seven minutes before any officers helped him. Coy’s body camera was also not activated until after the shooting, but a look-back feature did capture the shooting, but no sound.

Those two items are addressed in Andrè’s Law. As it is written, the law would require officers to turn on any body-worn cameras during any enforcement action “no later than when exiting their vehicle or approaching someone.”

The legislation would also require officers to request EMS unless there is still an imminent threat, or give medical aid when use of force seriously injures someone. The legislation also lays out training requirements for CPR and other medical aid.

“However, in cases of an egregious and willful violation of the new chapter pertaining to rendering aid, the city may pursue remedies beyond discipline and could see criminal charges for dereliction of duty,” Hardin said.

The first reading of Andrè’s Law, as well as other first readings, were waived during Council’s Monday meeting.

“I’m happy that today, Andrè’s Law is on for first reading,” Hardin said. “Andrè’s Law aims to ensure officers utilize body-worn cameras correctly and render aid when needed. We’ve been in contact with attorney Ben Crump on behalf of the family and we look forward to moving Andrè’s Law for passage as early as next week.”

The ordinance acknowledges there are police directives when it comes to body cameras and rendering aid, but also said the city has determined additional safeguards are necessary.

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