COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Former Columbus Police officer Adam Coy has been indicted by a Franklin County grand jury for the shooting death of Andre’ Hill.
Ohio Attorney General David Yost made the announcement Wednesday night.
Coy is charged with murder in the commission of a felony, felonious assault, dereliction of duty for failure to turn on his body camera, and dereliction of duty for failure to inform his fellow officer that he felt Hill presented a danger.
Yost said Coy has been arrested and will appear in court Friday.
“I believe the evidence in this case supports the indictment, and my office will vigorously prosecute this case,” Yost said while announcing the indictment.
The Franklin County Coroner said Hill died from multiple gunshot wounds.
The Ohio Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation into the shooting, Yost said. The Attorney General’s office will be handling the prosecution due to an election transition within the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office.
“Law enforcement officers are held in high regard because of their sacrifice, their courage, their service to our communities,” Yost said. “They undertake the increasingly difficult and dangerous task of protecting our communities. But every person is responsible for and judged for his or her own actions. Neither guilt nor virtue may be inferred simply by association.”
BCI’s investigation included processing the crime scene; gathering and evaluating evidence; reviewing body-worn cameras; analyzing cyber data; and interviewing witnesses, including the officers involved in the incident.
“My policy is that any case involving an officer-involved shooting is presented to a grand jury for consideration of charges,” Yost said.
Coy was fired from Columbus Police after a Dec. 22 shooting that resulted in the death of Hill.
“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,” Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. said in a statement at the time of Coy’s firing.
Michael Wright, one of the attorneys representing Hill’s family, said the family is happy with the indictment, but that it is only the first step.
“They are happy, excited that there was an indictment, but everyone realizing this was just the first step,” Wright said. “That there’s and indictment doesn’t mean he has been convicted, the indictment doesn’t mean he’s ultimately going to serve jail time for what he’s done.”
Wright added that the family believes the charges reflect what happened to Hill.
Ben Crump, another attorney representing Hill’s family, issued the following statement:
“We are encouraged by the decision of the grand jury to hold Office 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.”Ben Crump, attorney representing the Hill family
Columbus Fraternal Order of Police President Keith Ferrell issued this statement following Yost’s announcement:
“A Jury of Independent civilians has reviewed facts of the shooting case involving former officer Coy. They have made the decision to indict him based on this and he will have the ability to present facts on his behalf at a trial just like any other citizen. At this time, we will see all the facts for the first time with the public as the process plays out.”Keith Ferrell, president of the Fraternal Order of Police
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther’s office released a statement as well:
“The community was outraged by the killing of Andre Hill, an unarmed Black man, by law enforcement. The indictment does not lessen the pain of his tragic death for Mr. Hill’s loved ones, but it is a step towards justice. I thank the grand jury for their service.”Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther
Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin said in a statement:
“Officer Adam Coy has been arrested and indicted for murder. Tonight we have partial justice — true justice would be if Andre’ Hill was still with us today. I’m appreciative for Attorney General Yost’s cooperation and deliberative action. Officer Coy’s indictment means that the appropriate authority plans to prosecute this case and will seek a conviction.Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin
“I look forward to continuing to push reform with the goal that no one loses their life at the hands of law enforcement.”
The Columbus Division of Police issued the following statement:
The Columbus Division of Police is aware of the grand jury’s decision to indict former employee Adam Coy. The Division respects the rule of law. We will continue to fully cooperate with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.Columbus Division of Police
A press conference with Crump and members of Hill’s family has been scheduled for Thursday at 11 a.m. to respond to the indictment.
The indictment comes two days after Columbus City Council passed Andrè’s Law, named for Hill, that requires officers to activate their body cameras during any enforcement action or other situations as outlined in the Division of Police’s directives. The legislation also calls for officers to request EMS help when the use of force causes serious injury and requires officers themselves to render aid in certain situations.