‘Andre Hill should not be dead’: Ex-Columbus police officer indicted for murder

Deadly shooting leads to new law, police leadership change

Former Columbus police officer Adam Coy was indicted Wednesday in the shooting death of Andre Hill, an unarmed Black man, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced.

Coy, 44, was indicted for murder, felonious assault and two counts of dereliction of duty by a Franklin County grand jury.

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He was arrested Wednesday evening at his lawyer’s office and is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning, Yost said during a Wednesday night Zoom media briefing that also was livestreamed on his Facebook page.

Former Columbus police officer Adam Coy
Former Columbus police officer Adam Coy

Credit: Franklin County Jail

Credit: Franklin County Jail

“Andre Hill should not be dead,” Yost said.

Hill, 47, was shot and killed Dec. 22 when Coy and another officer responded to a report of a man sitting in a car, turning the engine on and off intermittently. Coy said he thought he saw a gun in Hill’s right hand, the attorney general said.

Hill was struck four times, and died of his injuries.

“No weapon was found on the scene,” Yost said.

The city of Columbus asked the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to investigate the officer-involved shooting, and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office will be the special prosecutor in the case.

“The vast virtue of law enforcement is diminished by the very few bad actors among its ranks,” Yost said. “And only by holding a bad actor accountable can that virtue be sustained. Here’s what I mean in plain English: Same rules for everybody.”

Columbus Police Chief Tom Quinlan was forced out last week in wake of Hill’s killing after Mayor Andrew Ginther said he lost confidence in the chief’s ability to reform the department. Quinlan was a 30-year veteran of the department he led since December 2019.

Coy was fired in late December.

Although Coy was indicted, Yost said he is to be presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

“Let me be clear that I believe the evidence in this case supports the indictment and my office will vigorously prosecute this case,” Yost said.

Columbus City Council on Monday unanimously passed “Andre’s Law,” which requires the use of body cameras by city police and to provide medical aid and call for medics in any use of force that leads to injuries, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Coy and the other officer, identified as Amy Detweiler, did not turn on their body cameras until after the shooting. However, bodycam footage showed Hill emerge from a garage and holding up a cellphone before he was shot by Coy. There is no audio, but an automatic “look back” feature caught the footage, the Associated Press reported.

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Following Hill’s shooting, officers hung yellow police tape and searched for shell casings as Hill lay on the ground. He was not assisted for more than 10 minutes, new body camera footage shows, the Dispatch reported.

Dayton law firm Wright & Schulte is acting as co-counsel, working alongside attorney Benjamin Crump to represent Hill’s family, attorney Michael Wright announced Dec. 29.

“It’s important to start holding these officers accountable for their bad actions and their bad acts,” Wright told the AP Wednesday night. “I think it will go a long way for one, the public to trust law enforcement, for two, to potentially change the behavior of officers and their interaction with individuals that shouldn’t be killed or should not endure excessive force.”

The local law firm is not a stranger to high-profile lawsuits. Along with representing the family of Takoda Collins, a 10-year-old Dayton boy who died after what authorities say was “extreme abuse,” it also represents the family of John Crawford, the 22-year-old Fairfield man who was fatally shot by police in 2014 inside the Beavercreek Walmart.

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