Photo Credit:Stephen Zenner/AFP via Getty Images
The former Columbus, Ohio police officer who fatally wounded an unarmed Black man in December was arrested and indicted on a murder charge. The victim’s family says they are satisfied there has been an indictment, but are cautiously optimistic about a conviction.
Adam Coy was arrested for the Dec. 22 death of Andre Hill, 47, who he shot while responding to a noise complaint. Coy and another officer came across Hill at the entrance to a garage of a home where he was a guest and he held up a cellphone. However, Coy fired when he mistook a key ring Hill had in his hand for a gun.
Body camera footage also shows that emergency aid was not administered to Hill, but he was handcuffed. The cameras, however, were not activated until after the shooting. Coy was fired last month.
RELATED: Ohio Police Fatally Shoot Unarmed Black Man After Receiving Noise Complaint
A grand jury returned an indictment against Coy for murder along with felonious assault and two counts of dereliction of duty. The first for not turning on his body camera when entering the scene, another for not telling the other officer that he believed Hill was dangerous.
Ohio attorney general Dave Yost announced the charges at a virtual press conference on Wednesday, backing the grand jury’s decision. His office served as a special prosecutor because the Franklin County prosecutor was in a post-election transition, he said.
“The citizens of Franklin County represented by the individual grand jurors found probable cause to believe Mr. Coy committed a crime when he killed Andre Hill by gunfire,” said Yost. “Truth is the best friend of justice and the grand jury here found the truth: Andre Hill should not be dead.”
Benjamin Crump, attorney for Hill's family, responded on Thursday to the grand jury's decision, saying they were relieved, but won’t be satisfied until Coy is convicted.
“The reason they are not satisfied is because we know, based on what has happened before in America, that when a white police officer kills an unarmed black person that does not guarantee a conviction,” Crump said. “And they want Officer Adam Coy to be convicted for the unjustified unnecessary and the senseless killing of Andre Hill who was simply holding a cellphone.”
RELATED: Ohio Cops Handcuffed Lifeless Andre Hill Instead Of Helping, Ben Crump Says
Crump said on Monday that according to family-commissioned autopsy findings that if aid had been rendered to Hill when he was shot, he may have survived, the Columbus Dispatch reported. The city council passed a law that punishes officers who fail to turn on their body cameras or give first aid when someone is hurt by police.
The family is looking at the indictment as a first step, but understands getting a conviction could be a lengthy process. Hill’s brother, Andre Williamson said convicting Coy would help address a societal problem regarding police violence and Black people.
“I just hope at the end of the day that if you indicted the four, you convict the four charges overall. This is not a black and white issue; this is a people issue. And it takes all of us to actually dissect the problem,” he said. “I hope that all of us, as decent American people, that we will come together against any unjust action no matter who it is.”
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