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Police shooting of unarmed man in Columbus ruled a homicide, officer’s fate to be decided

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Update: In the coroner’s office report, Andre Hill’s preliminary cause of death is listed as multiple gunshot wounds. They also list his manner of death as a homicide.

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A hearing on whether to fire a Columbus police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man last week concluded late Monday morning, city officials said as they promised a “prompt decision” on the officer’s employment.

A hearing before city Public Safety Director Ned Pettus was held Monday morning for Pettus to hear evidence supporting Officer Adam Coy’s termination and evidence in defense of the officer.

Coy was served with paperwork last week documenting administrative charges against him in the shooting of Andre Hill, 47. There was also a recommendation that he be terminated, the city’s Department of Public Safety said at the time. The administrative charges pertain to the “unreasonable use of force” by Coy, not turning on his body camera and not rendering aid to Hill, who was lying there for several minutes before he received assistance from other emergency responders.

“Director Pettus will now review all evidence and documentation submitted and render a prompt decision regarding Officer Coy’s employment,” the department of public safety said in a written statement Monday.

Pettus is the only person within city government who has the authority to fire an officer.

“Officer Coy was provide an opportunity to be heard by the Director who will ultimately make the decision regarding his continued employment,” the department said.

Members of the Fraternal Order of Police attended the hearing on behalf of Coy, who was not in attendance, the department’s statement said.

Coy, 44, has worked in the department for 19 years. He was one of two officers who responded to a non-emergency disturbance call about a SUV parked on the 1000 block of Oberlin Drive that had been running on and off for a period of time.

Coy and a female officer, who has not yet been identified, arrived around 1:50 a.m. Tuesday. About 10 seconds after encountering 47-year-old Andre Hill, who was inside a garage and an expected guest at that home, Coy fired his service weapon multiple times.

Neither Coy nor the other officer turned their body camera on. The video footage, released Wednesday, shows Coy turning on the camera nine seconds after the shooting.

Coy remains relieved of duty, pending a decision. Until then, he has surrendered his gun and badge, and has been stripped of all police powers.

Over the weekend, family and friends remembered Hill, known to loved ones as Big Daddy, as a great friend and a great cook, one who would always lend a helping hand.

Hill was passionate about people and active in Black Lives Matter causes, his friends and family said. Hill was wearing a BLM shirt early Tuesday morning when he was confronted by Coy and the female officer.

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(c)2020 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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