Police body camera footage released on December 31 shows Columbus, Ohio police handcuffing a lifeless Andre Hill after shooting him multiple times and then standing around for five minutes and 11 seconds without rendering first aid treatment.
Hill, a 47-year-old Black man, reportedly had his cell phone in his left hand as he emerged from a friend’s garage on December 22 he was shot to death by police.
According to the video, after the shooting, a woman came out of the house and told police, "He was bringing me Christmas money. He didn't do anything,” ABC News reports. Police ordered her to go back inside her home without asking her any questions.
Ben Crump, the attorney for the Hill family, said the now-fired officer Adam Coy opened fire without first giving Hill any verbal commands to put his hand up and shot him four times. He also claimed the body-cam footage confirms the "unnecessary, unjustifiable and senseless shooting of Andre Hill."
"Where is the humanity for Andre Hill? Where is the humanity for this Columbus citizen who had committed no crime, had no weapon, was unarmed, only holding a cell phone? Where’s the humanity for this citizen, for this father, this grandfather, this brother?" Crump said during a news conference in Columbus following the release of the body cam footage, ABC News writes. "It makes you wonder if they had been trying to save his life versus trying to put handcuffs on him, would Andre Hill be with us today?"
Hill’s family is now calling on prosecutors to criminally charge Coy in Hill’s death. Hill’s oldest sister, Shawna Barnett, said during the news conference that she can’t make sense of her brother’s death.
“It’s really hard to stand here and keep my composure, because I’m completely outraged in how they treated my brother," said Barnett. "It makes no sense. They showed no humanity towards him. How do you sleep at night knowing that you did this and left him there and had the nerve to turn him over and handcuff him but not offer any help. Nothing."
Hill and another officer, Amy Detweiler, responded to a 311 non-emergency call for a noise complaint on Columbus, Northwest Side. During an interview with investigators, Detweiler said she heard Coy scream that Hill had a gun in his hand but couldn’t recall if he gave Hill an order to drop a weapon. No weapon was found on Hill.
Detwieler also said she did not see a gun in Hill’s hand and that she didn’t observe any threats from Hill during the incident.
Coy did not turn on his body-camera until after he fired the shots at Hill. His camera did automatically activate and recorded 60 seconds of the incident without sound.
"He’s on the ground struggling for breath, and none of the police officers rendered medical assistance to him," Crump said while also claiming a police supervisor told officers to handcuff him rather than render any aid.
“You see on the video, they handcuff a dying man, who was unarmed, who they shot multiple times for a non-emergency 311 call," said Crump. “What is his crime? Why are they handcuffing him?"
Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan released a video statement on Thursday saying his reaction to the body camera footage "was anger and deep disappointment."
"I know it is horrifying to everyone who looks at it," Quinlan said. "One of the core values of the Columbus Division of Police is compassion. And the body-worn camera video released today shows little evidence of that. Let me repeat what I said last week: Andre Hill should be alive today. A Columbus police officer is responsible for his death. I cannot defend it. I cannot make it right."
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