COLUMBUS, Ohio – Authorities identified Andre Maurice Hill, 47, as the unarmed black man gunned down by police earlier this week.
Adam Coy, the officer who carried out the shooting, has a history of complaints against him, including an excessive force case in 2012 that resulted in a victim being paid $ 45,000.
Coy, 44, was responding to a complaint about a man and an SUV early Tuesday morning. Hill was reportedly holding a cell phone when the officer opened fire.
Neither Coy nor the Columbus Police Department immediately responded to requests for comment.
Coy is a 19 year veteran of the Columbus Police Department. But his tenure was marked by complaints, including allegations of excessive force. Hers is just part of a remarkably opaque local history of police violence, including the murder of 23-year-old black man Casey Goodson by a sheriff’s deputy just weeks ago.
Goodson’s funeral took place on Wednesday, almost simultaneously with Hill’s identity disclosure in the latest shooting case.
Paisha Thomas, 46, artist and racial justice activist based in Columbus, said the local criminal justice system needs top-down reform, calling for the resignation of Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Chief of Police Thomas Quinlan. Both men described Hill’s fatal shooting as disturbing even before the expected body camera footage was released on Wednesday, signaling official awareness of the potential for local outrage.
“I think one of the things we need to do now is get rid of Quinlan. He should be fired for gross negligence, ”Thomas told The Daily Beast. “Ginther was aware of this problem, of the blatant and excessive use of force by the Columbus Police, even before taking office. They have to go. They must be returned.
Coy and another officer responded to a 911 call about a man sitting in an SUV with the exhaust running after midnight. When they arrived at the scene Hill, 47, reportedly walked towards police with a cell phone in his left hand.
Coy opened fire. “I heard ‘pop, pop, pop’,” the neighbor who called 911 about the SUV told The Daily Beast. “No glass, no screaming. I said, ‘What’s going on here?’ “
Details of the incident are still unclear, with none of the police turning on their body cameras before the shooting. Columbus officials said they are looking at a short “rollback” feature on the cameras, which could provide a brief clip, but without audio.
Disturbingly, police said the footage showed “a delay in [the] give first aid to man. “
The U.S. District Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio said on Wednesday he would reconsider the shooting for possible violations of federal civil rights.
Coy has previously been charged with excessive force. During a drinking and driving stop in October 2012, he hit a man, kicked him to the ground and repeatedly hit his head against the hood of his car while the man was handcuffed. The incident, which a student and Coy’s dashboard camera witnessed, was so serious that the victim received a settlement of $ 45,000 from the city.
“For me, we have to be concerned that someone from the outside is looking into this type of behavior,” Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs told Coy at a disciplinary hearing, reported by the Columbus Expedition. “You are not allowed to use force which is unnecessary and unreasonable. You have to control yourself. “
Still, Coy remained on the force, after a 160-hour suspension.
Other incidents have marked Coy’s professional record. the Sending reported nine complaints against him in 2003 alone. He received written advice for these incidents.
The fatal shooting, of an officer with a history of complaints, is emblematic of the Columbus Police Department, where from 2001 to 2017, just six percent of officers accounted for half of all complaints to police, according to a report by The Appeal.
In one representative case, just two months before Coy was caught on camera hitting a man’s head in a car, two police officers beat a black student unconsciously while arresting him for what happened. turned out to be a delusional affair. One of his arresting officers had 14 misconduct complaints on file. Another of the officers had 40 misconduct complaints, Reuters reported.
Columbus Police and other local law enforcement agencies have also come under fire for what advocates see as a notable lack of transparency. Details surrounding the death of Casey Goodson, 23, remained in dispute even as his funeral took place on Wednesday, with authorities saying officers shot him after he was seen holding a gun and members of the his family inside his home at the time of the shooting. stating that they did not see him with a gun. There are no body camera images of his death.
Supporters of police reform told Reuters details of past incidents were lacking, as Columbus Police routinely purge their cases every four years.
“We shred them in different cycles,” a Columbus police record keeper told the newspaper.
A 19-year-old Columbus Police veteran like Coy could have worked four of those cycles.
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