Former Columbus officer charged with murder of Andre Hill
Updated: Aug 14
DWN Staff speaks to local leaders.
Andre Hill, an unarmed 47-year-old Black man, was killed during an early-morning encounter in a residential garage in late December.
Authorities said, "a neighbor reported a person who was repeatedly starting and stopping the engine of an SUV at around 1:30 a.m. on a residential street." Body camera footage showed former Columbus police officer Adam Coy approaching Hill, who was holding a cellphone in his left hand. Coy fired his service weapon. Hill fell to the ground, as Coy yelled for him to show his hands. The video did not show Coy providing medical care. Hill later died of his injuries.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced at a press conference on Wednesday night that Adam Coy, has been indicted for Hill's murder. "Coy, accused of fatally shooting Andre Hill, was indicted for murder in the commission of a felony, felonious assault, dereliction of duty for failing to activate his body camera and dereliction of duty for failing to tell his fellow officer that he believed Hill presented a danger," said Yost. The grand jurors did not indict Coy for purposeful murder.
Your Dayton Weekly News staff reached out to Erica Fields, Executive Director of the City of Dayton's Human Relations Council, for comment. Ms. Fields shared her hope that the happenings in Columbus will lead to change in Dayton.
"This is significant. It is an important step toward justice, but definitely not enough. While I’m encouraged by the decision of the grand jury to hold Officer Coy accountable for his actions, this is yet another reminder why police reform is so incredibly necessary in cities across this country. It’s not just about the creation of and strengthening of policy, it’s about ensuring polices are carried out and implemented in the spirit for which they are written….. and that officers are held accountable any time there is a violation of those polices. Columbus is taking a great first step with the creation of the city’s first Civilian Review Board, which will oversee the police department. It’s my hope that as Dayton and the region continue to look at police reform we move beyond superficial changes. We need to rethink public safety, start investing in community services, ensure abusive officers are held accountable and address racial and economic inequities that contribute to disparities in public safety."
Donald Dominick, leader of the Dayton Ohio Chapter of the New Black Panther Party, was also asked about his views of the developments out of Columbus. Like Fields, Dominick sees hope for the region. "The arrest and indictment of Adam Coy is a victory for the community of Columbus, Ohio and a victory for all those families of victims of police violence. His arrest and possible conviction gives hope for those who are engaged in police reform in Dayton."
Dayton City Commissioner, Jeffrey Mims, weighed in. Mims is co-chair of Dayton's Use of Force Group, a group tasked with assessing all recent incidents in which force was used by Dayton police to look for patterns of biases, which will inform a review of use of force policies. In response to our request for comment, Mims said "Andre Hill's death was tragic and avoidable. We entrust officers with a tremendous power to enforce our laws and use lethal force when necessary. Officer Adam Coy abused our trust when he arrived to a non-emergency call and chose to shoot first and ask questions later. The Attorney General's decision to indict Officer Adam Coy is the first step in achieving justice for Andre Hill and his family. However, our fight against abuses of our trust does not stop at this indictment. Through our community police reform process, the City of Dayton is actively working to ensure this tragedy is not repeated."
While the termination, arrest and indictment of Adam Coy gives hope to people in Columbus, and throughout Ohio, Police reform is not just a local issue. It is a national issue to which the Biden-Harris Administration has responded with a renewed commitment to reforming the justice system. However, reversing layers of policy that have disproportionately affected communities of color, and simultaneously unwinding decades of mistrust, is no easy task. Hope rises, but skepticism exists.
Elements of this article were taken from A CBS report by Victoria Albert. For more details on the shooting, or to read the full CBS News article, visit https://www.cbsnews.com/news/andre-hill-shooting-adam-coy-charged-murder-ohio/