The former Columbus, Ohio, police officer charged in the death of Andre Hill will make his first appearance in court Thursday morning after his indictment.
Adam Coy was indicted Wednesday on several charges, including murder in the commission of a felony, felonious assault, and two counts of dereliction of duty related to Hill’s December 22 death. Coy was responding to reports of a man sitting in his SUV for an extended period when body camera footage shows he shot Hill within seconds of their encounter.
“The community was outraged by the killing of Andre Hill, an unarmed Black man, by law enforcement. The indictment does not lessen the pain of his tragic death for Mr. Hill’s loved ones, but it is a step towards justice,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement on Twitter.
Coy is scheduled to appear for an initial court appearance and bail hearing Thursday, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said.
Mark C. Collins and Kaitlyn C. Stephens, attorneys for Coy, said they would be entering a not guilty plea and request “a reasonable bond at the arraignment.”
They also said they weren’t surprised when the indictment decision was announced.
“The grand jury only hears what the prosecuting attorney wants them to hear. There is no judge. There are no rules,” the statement read. “The grand jury’s function is singular — to determine if there is probable cause to indict. This is a much different and more importantly, much lower standard than what the State of Ohio will have to prove come trial.”
Coy said Hill had a gun, report says
Coy responded to a call around 1:30 a.m. December 22 about reports of a man who had been sitting in his SUV for an extended period, repeatedly turning his engine on and off.
Coy fatally shot Hill, who was Black, within seconds of their encounter as Hill walked toward Coy holding an illuminated cell phone in his left hand, body camera footage shows. Hill was unarmed.
Coy turned his camera on after the shooting. The camera’s look-back feature captured 60 seconds of video, but no audio, before Coy turned it on.
The body camera footage appears to show Coy walking toward Hill as Hill walks toward the officer. Coy started shooting within a few seconds of seeing Hill. It’s not clear whether Hill or Coy said anything during their brief interaction because Coy had not activated his body camera.
The first few seconds of Coy’s body camera video in which audio is available show Coy ordering Hill to get his hands out to the side, ordering him to get on his stomach, warning an officer to not get close because one of Hill’s arms is under the car where he collapsed.
About 37 seconds after the shooting, Coy asked whether a medic was coming. A report prepared by the Columbus police chief after the shooting said an officer who responded with Coy said she heard Coy say he saw a gun, and that Coy yelled, “There’s a gun in his other hand, there’s a gun in his other hand!”
As a result of the shooting, Coy was fired in December. Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said in a statement in December the evidence against Coy provided “solid rationale” for termination.
Quinlan stepped down from his duties in January because he “could not successfully implement the reform and change” the mayor wanted, Ginther said in a statement. Quinlan will remain with the Division of Police as deputy chief, according to the mayor’s office.