Former police officer charged with murder in fatal shooting of unarmed black man

A former police officer has been charged with murder over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in Ohio.

Andre Hill, 47, was carrying his mobile phone when he was shot on 22 December while leaving the garage of a friend as police officers responded to a non-emergency call about a car.

Adam Coy, a 19-year veteran of the Columbus police force, was arrested and charged with murder, felonious assault and two counts of dereliction of duty, Attorney General Dave Yost said.

Andre Hill . Credit: Facebook
Image:Andre Hill was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting. Pic: Facebook

He said Coy thought he saw a gun in Mr Hill’s hand, but no weapon was found.

Coy’s lawyer, Mark Collins, said his client saw keys in Mr Hill’s hand and believed them to be a weapon.

He said Coy would plead not guilty, adding that his client had fully co-operated with investigators and “honestly believed that he saw a silver revolver coming up in the right hand of the individual.”

“Let me be clear that I believe the evidence in this case supports the indictment,” Mr Yost said. “And my office will vigorously prosecute this case.”

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Police in Columbus, Ohio, said they relieved an officer of duty after he fatally shot an unarmed black man.

The shooting sparked outrage, and Coy, who was fired on 28 December, is accused of failing to tell the other officer he was with that he believed Mr Hill presented a danger and failing to use his body camera.

He turned the device on after the shooting, however the camera’s look-back feature captured 60 seconds of video before the camera was switched on, but minus audio.

Bodycam video from officers appears to show Mr Hill was still alive on the floor after he was shot.

Five minutes afterwards, another officer can be heard in the footage saying: “Let’s cuff him up. He’s still moving.”

Additional bodycam video shows two other Columbus officers rolled Mr Hill over and put handcuffs on him before leaving him alone again.

None of them, according to the footage released after the incident, offered any first aid even though he was barely moving, groaning and bleeding while on the garage floor.

Andre Hill's daughter, Karissa (C), with Hill's sister Shawna Barnett and lawyer Benjamin Crump. Pic: AP
Image:Andre Hill’s daughter, Karissa (C), with Hill’s sister Shawna Barnett and family lawyer Benjamin Crump. Pic: AP

As the officers waited for an ambulance, a superior arrived and asked “anybody doing anything for him?” He then ordered an officer to start CPR. Mr Hill was later pronounced dead.

The Hill family lawyer, Ben Crump, said after the court hearing: “Though nothing will bring back Andre’s life and relieve his family’s grief, this is an important step toward justice.”

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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