A disciplinary hearing was held Monday for a white Ohio police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man within seconds of encountering him during a non-emergency call, officials said.
All evidence submitted during the proceeding for Columbus police officer Adam Coy – who was seen on bodycam video early Tuesday gunning down 47-year-old Andre Maurice Hill as he held a cellphone while exiting a garage – will now be evaluated to determine whether the veteran cop will keep his job, Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. said.
“Officer Coy was provided an opportunity to be heard by the director who will ultimately make the decision regarding his continued employment,” Pettus said in a statement Monday. “Members of the Fraternal Order of Police attended the hearing on behalf of Officer Coy, who was not in attendance.”
Coy — who did not activate his body camera until after the shooting — was relieved of his police duties and ordered to turn in his gun and badge following Hill’s death. He will be still be paid, however, due to his union contract.
Police Chief Tom Quinlan said Thursday that he filed two departmental charges against the 19-year department vet while recommending that Coy be fired immediately.
“Some may call this a rush to judgment,” Quinlan said in a statement. “It is not. We have an officer who violated his oath to comply with the rules and policies of the Columbus Division of Police. And those consequences are of that violation are so great, it requires immediate action. This violation cost an innocent man his life.”
Two administrative investigations were underway last week regarding the police-involved shooting, including one related to Coy’s “unreasonable use of deadly force” and another regarding the additional officers who either failed to activate their body-worn cams or to render aid to Hill, Quinlan said.
“Any other officers found to have violated policy will be held accountable,” the chief said.
Pettus will ultimately rule on Quinlan’s recommendation to terminate Coy, 44, for the Dec. 22 shooting as he responded to a non-emergency call for a man who was sitting in idling car in the city’s Cranbrook section.
A man later identified as Hill approached officers from a garage while holding a cellphone in his left hand, video shows. Hill’s right hand wasn’t shown in the footage, but no weapon was recovered from the scene, police previously said.
Footage from Coy’s bodycam showed him opening fire on Hill just six seconds after he entered the frame. Hill was then on the ground for several minutes while no officer at the scene provided him aid. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital less than an hour later.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is conducting the criminal probe into the shooting, Pettus said.
A preliminary report from a coroner’s office on Monday determined Hill’s death to be a homicide. His preliminary cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
Coy, who has been employed by the department for 19 years, was one of two cops who responded to Tuesday’s call. The second officer, a female, has not yet been identified, the newspaper reported.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has also called for Coy to be terminated, but Pettus is the only government official with the authority to fire him, according to the Dispatch.
With Post wires