COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Seven days after Andre’ Hill was fatally shot, the Columbus police officer who pulled the trigger has been terminated.
Officer Adam Coy was terminated Monday afternoon from the Columbus Division of Police after a hearing earlier in the day with Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. Brian Steel, vice president of the local lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, first confirmed the news to NBC4.
“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,” Pettus said in a statement.
According to a transcript of the hearing, Columbus Police Lt. Tim Myers said, “In summary, based on the known facts, Officer Coy is accused of fatally shooting Mr. André Hill, without legal justification. This is aggravated by Officer Coy’s failure to use trained techniques to deescalate the situation and his failure to render appropriate aid to Mr. Hill after shooting him.
“Moreover, Officer Coy did not activate his body-worn camera until after the shooting. This violated the Division of Police policy and deprived us of critical evidence in this case.”
Coy did not attend the hearing in person. A representative from the FOP, speaking on Coy’s behalf, said the group had requested the hearing be delayed since Coy’s attorney was on vacation, and because the attorney was absent, they decided to not present their contractual and just-cause arguments.
The FOP representative, John Davis, also added the notice for the hearing was not delivered until after 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
The transcript shows the hearing lasted 12 minutes.
Hill’s family and the attorney representing them, Ben Crump, issued the following statement on Coy’s termination:
“The Columbus Department of Public Safety made the correct decision to terminate Officer Adam Coy today. We look forward to reviewing all the bodycam footage and determining everything that happened leading to Andre Hill’s death. We need to redefine a relationship between police and communities of color in which it doesn’t turn deadly for a Black person with a cell phone to encounter a law enforcement officer.”Attorney Ben Crump and the Hill family statement
“Officer Coy was given the opportunity today to come and participate,” Steel told reporters Monday. “He elected not to participate. I do not know why … I would have liked to have him here, but it’s his decision.”
Last Tuesday, Coy responded to a non-emergency call in the 1000 block of Oberlin Drive of a car being turned on and off over an extended period during the early morning hours. Officers noticed an open garage, where Hill — a guest at the house — was inside. Body-camera footage showed Hill walking out of the garage with a phone in one hand before Coy fired.
Coy then activated his body camera, which preserved the previous 60 seconds of video with no audio. Coy then was shown yelling commands at but not offering medical assistance to Hill, who did not respond. Hill was taken to Riverside Methodist Hospital, where he died. He was 47 years old.
An investigation is also being conducted into the other officers who responded to the call that ended in Hill being shot, who Quinlan said also appear to have either failed to activate their body cameras or to render Hill aid. He said any others who violated department protocols will be held accountable.
Coy was relieved of duty later Tuesday, and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther called for his termination on Wednesday, based on Coy not activating his body camera before the shooting and for not offering immediate medical assistance. On Thursday, Chief Thomas Quinlan announced he supported Coy’s termination and when the hearing would take place.
In a statement, Ginther applauded Quinlan and Pettus “for their swift action in firing Mr. Coy.” And Quinlan said in a separate statement that “Coy will now have to answer to the state investigators for the death of Andre Hill.”
The termination hearing is separate from any potential criminal charges. The state Bureau of Criminal Investigations is looking into the shooting, and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office has appointed state Attorney General Dave Yost as a special prosecutor in the case.
Coy, 44, met or exceeded expectations in recent performance reviews, with a history of complaints and compliments for his service over the years.
Hill’s fatal shooting was the second in less than a month of a Black man by law enforcement in Columbus city limits. On Dec. 4, Casey Goodson Jr. was shot by Jason Meade, a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy coming off an assignment with the U.S. Marshal’s Service. Columbus police and the FBI are investigating that shooting.