WARNING: DISTRESSING VIDEO BELOW
Columbus Police Officer Kills Unarmed Black Man
(OH) – On Tuesday, Officer Adam Coy responded to a call about someone sitting in an idling car. When Officer Coy arrived at the location he walked up the driveway of a house that had an open garage door and a man standing inside. The man, Andre Maurice Hill, approached Office Coy, holding up his cell phone so the officer could see what was in his hand. You cannot see Mr. Hill’s right hand, but since he was wearing a coat and it appeared to be cold, it’s very possible that his hand was in his pocket. Within seconds, Officer Coy shoots Mr. Hill. It isn’t until this point, after he has fired, that Officer Coy turns on his camera. Turning on the camera causes it to retain the pre-record video buffering it does.
According to CNN,
“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.”
No weapon was found at the scene. Officer Coy’s immediate decision to use deadly force resulted in the murder of an unarmed man.
“Gross Violation of Your Oath”
After shooting an unarmed man, Office Coy compounded his misconduct with a failure to render aid. The actions of Officer Coy, as shown in the video, were so out of line with the Columbus Police Department’s policy that Chief Thomas Quinlan didn’t even bother giving him a hearing. Chief Quinlan is proceeding with the termination process. His digust is clear as evidenced by this quote from the charges. “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.”
Police Brutality Causing Civil Unrest
Before Police Chief Quinlan had announced his response to the murder of Andre Hill, Mayor Ginther had already been calling on the Chief to terminate Officer Coy. The video shows the blatant police misconduct, but this incident only added to the public’s outrage. The murder of Andre Hill comes on the heels of Ohio police shooting another Black man, Casey Goodson. Both the mayor and chief understood that the simmering anger could easily boil over if they hadn’t act quickly and decisively.
A History of Police Violence
It does appear that the mayor and chief have done a good job at showing the public that they will not protect lawless actions, but I do see a problem. According to the video below, Officer Coy has had “More than 3 dozen complaints since 2002.” Some of those complaints did include allegations of excessive use of force. What is concerning is that most of the complaints were, basically, dismissed. That’s a lot of complaints, even over an 18 year period. I don’t necessarily believe in ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire.’ Sometimes there can appear to be a little smoke and the result turns out to me, no fire. But in Officer Coy’s case, there sure seems to be a lot of smoke. A WHOLE LOT of smoke. It sure looks like red flags to me. Red flags that it seems the Columbus Police Department turned a blind eye to, until a man lost his life.