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Columbus, Ohio, police chief moves to terminate one officer, investigate others in fatal shooting of Andre Hill


The chief of the Columbus Division of Police in Ohio announced he is moving forward with terminating one of the department’s officers after the fatal shooting of a Black man Tuesday morning.

Andre Maurice Hill, 47, was shot and killed by Officer Adam Coy within seconds of their encounter, as Hill walked toward Coy holding an illuminated cell phone in his left hand, body camera footage released Wednesday shows.

Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan stated Thursday he filed two departmental charges alleging critical misconduct against Coy, and declared administrative investigations are underway regarding additional officers involved.

“Today is Christmas Eve. A time when we should be gathering with those we love,” Quinlan said. “The family of Andre Hill has nothing to celebrate this holiday, someone very important won’t be with them this holiday, or any other. A Columbus police officer is responsible for that. And that breaks my heart.”

Quinlan said an officer’s discipline or termination would typically include a hearing before the police chief, but Coy would not receive one in this instance after Quinlan reviewed body camera footage of the shooting.

“I have seen everything I need to see, to reach the conclusion that Officer Coy must be terminated immediately,” Quinlan said.

“Some may call this a rush to judgment. It is not,” he added. “This violation cost an innocent man his life.”

Coy had been suspended following the shooting pending a preliminary investigation. Coy will be served notice of the charges against him today, Quinlan said.

As part of the reasoning behind one of the charges, in a memo obtained by CNN affiliate WBNS, Quinlan to Coy states, “Your actions were a gross violation of your oath as a Columbus Police Officer and, at a minimum, demonstrate incompetence, gross neglect of duty, misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance.”

CNN has reached out to the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9, which represents the officer.

Quinlan said Coy will face a hearing before the public safety director Monday morning, where the director will rule on his recommendation to fire the officer

Coy and another officer who responded to the call Tuesday were equipped with body cameras but did not turn them on until after the shooting, according to the Department of Public Safety. A function of the body-worn cameras’ technology used by Columbus police provides a 60-second look back but records no audio during that period, so any conversation before or during the shooting is not heard.

Coy responded to the call shortly after 1:37 a.m., after an unidentified neighbor who called 911 reported that a man had been sitting in his SUV for an extended period, repeatedly turning his engine on and off.

When police arrived at the home, they found a garage door open and a man inside, city officials said.

The body camera footage captured from the 60-second look back shows a flashlight illuminating Hill, who walks alongside a car toward Coy cell phone in his left hand and his right hand not visible.

The officer, within seconds, backs off before firing his weapon, striking Hill. When the audio comes on, Coy is heard ordering Hill to put his hands out to the side.

Hill died at the hospital just before 2:30 a.m. No weapon was recovered at the scene.

“I am a father and a grandfather. I cannot fathom the pain Andre Hill’s family’s is feeling right now,” Quinlan said at the conclusion of his video statement Thursday. “He was taken from them by violence. Preventable violence. Senseless violence. This didn’t have to happen, and it never should have. Andre Hill should be with his family this holiday. I ask this community to wrap their arms around his family and join me in praying for their comfort.”

The shooting is the second involving law enforcement in Columbus this month. Another Black man, Casey Goodson Jr., was fatally shot at his front door by a sheriff’s deputy from a different department, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. The December 4 shooting is the subject of a joint criminal civil rights investigation.

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