COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus police Officer Adam Coy was terminated Monday, one week after his body cam captured the fatal shooting of 47-year-old Andre Maurice Hill, an unarmed Black man who did not commit any crime, officials said.
The move followed a disciplinary hearing Monday morning that Coy did not attend, according to FOP Vice President Brian Steel who represented him there. Because Coy did not show up, the FOP did not make a case in his defense, Steel confirmed.
Coy's termination proceeding Monday, held before Columbus Department of Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr., followed calls for Coy's termination from Mayor Andrew Ginther and Columbus Division of Police Chief Thomas Quinlan.
Pettus wrote in a statement Monday afternoon that Coy’s firing is "well-supported and appropriate." Pettus said he sustained the charges, terminating Coy effective upon the officer being notified by the department.
"The actions of Adam Coy do not live up to the oath of a Columbus Police officer, or the standards we, and the community, demand of our officers,” he said. "Additional allegations of misconduct regarding Mr. Coy and other officers who responded to this critical incident will continue to be investigated. Use of body-worn cameras and duty to render aid will be among the actions under further review.”
The Department of Public Safety released an 18-page transcript of the hearing proceedings Monday afternoon. The documents show Coy faced two charges for use of force/failure to administer aid and failing to use his body camera. Read the full documents below.
Steel said during the hearing a lieutenant from the department’s grievance discipline office read the charges against Coy, and he said the entire hearing lasted only about 5 minutes. The FOP request for an extension to allow time for an attorney to return from vacation was denied, Steel confirmed.
“Normally, there's very detailed facts, you know, the city will read 10 pages of facts and the FOP can read 10 pages of facts in rebuttal," Steel said. “This is fast, unbelievably fast, and I get it. I mean, the city is under a lot of public pressure, just unfortunately when you rush things. That's when things kind of sometimes fall apart or slip in anything you do."
The lawyer representing Hill's family, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, said in a tweet Monday afternoon the family seeks to review all body camera footage as soon as possible.
With cellphone in hand, Hill walked out of a garage of a home he was visiting as Coy approached and fatally shot Hill on Dec. 22. Coy and a second officer, who has not yet been identified, were responding to a non-emergency call from a neighbor of a car starting and turning off in the middle of the night.
Coy’s body-camera captured the officer fatally shooting Hill, but because Coy did not promptly activate his camera, there is no audio of what either man said, police confirm. Quinlan said last week Coy failed to promptly turn on his body camera and failed to administer first aid to Hill.
The Franklin County Coroner released the results of a preliminary autopsy Monday morning. The report said Hill's cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds and a full report was expected in 12 to 14 weeks.
This is the second fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man in Columbus in December.
Officials Respond To Coy's Termination
Ginther released the following statement Monday on termination of Coy:
"The termination of Adam Coy from Columbus Division of Police does not bring Andre Hill back to those who love him. I applaud Safety Director Ned Pettus and Police Chief Tom Quinlan for their swift action in firing Mr. Coy for not using reasonable use of force consistent with Division policies, not activating his body-worn camera and not rendering aid to a dying Mr. Hill. This does not represent the values of the Columbus Division of Police.
"Now we wait on the investigation of BCI, a presentation of the evidence to a grand jury and potential federal charges from the U.S. Department of Justice. We expect transparency, accountability and justice. The family and the entire community deserve it."
Chief Quinlan released the following statement Monday afternoon:
"When I became chief, I changed our core values to include accountability. This is what accountability looks like. The evidence provided solid rationale for termination. Mr. Coy will now have to answer to the state investigators for the death of Andre Hill."
Lt. Tim Myers, grievance investigator with the Division of Police, said it was a sad day for the department.
"Unlike the vast majority of other uses of deadly force by our officers, the evidence at hand indicates that this killing was not objectively reasonable," he said.
John Davis, an FOP grievance chair, made few remarks during the hearing, just noting that the case moved quickly, and that Coy’s call was not a Priority 1 or 2 run. Therefore, the FOP said "body-worn camera policy cannot be applied retroactively."