Footage from body cameras shows a black man coming out of a garage holding a cell phone in his left hand seconds before he was fatally shot by a Columbus police officer.
About six seconds pass between the time Andre Hill, 47, is visible in the video and when the officer shoots his weapon. There is no sound because the officer had not activated the body camera, but an automatic “look back” feature captured the shooting early on Tuesday.
Without sound, it is unclear whether the officer, identified as Adam Coy, shouts any commands on Hill whose right hand is not visible in the video. Authorities say no weapons were found at the scene. The city has said Hill visited someone at the time.
Hill lay on the garage floor for several minutes without any officer on the scene coming to his aid. It violated policies that required officers to help the wounded, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said Wednesday, calling for Coy to be fired as a result.
Coy also violated departmental policies that required his camera’s full video and audio features to be enabled, Ginther said.
Columbus police values including integrity, compassion and accountability “were absent and were not exhibited while Mr. Hill lay dying,” said Ginther, a Democrat.
After Coy activates the sound, he is heard using an explicit as he shouts to Hill, now lying on the garage floor, to put his “hands out to the side! Hands out to the side now! ”
A few seconds later, Coy yells at Hill, “Roll to your stomach now,” and then, “Get your hand up from below you, now!”
Coy then asks a sender, “We got a doctor to come” and shouts, “Don’t move, dude!” to Hill while lying on his side moaning.
Hill died less than an hour later in a hospital.
Ginther and Police Chief Thomas Quinlan have expressed anger that Coy did not activate his body camera in advance. The 60-second look-back feature captured the shooting.
Officers must activate their body cameras as soon as they are sent to a major incident such as shooting, robbery or burglary under the department’s policy.
In addition, officers must turn on the cameras “at the beginning of an enforcement action or at the first reasonable opportunity to do so” according to the policy.
Although Coy was sent during a non-emergency call, it became an enforcement action when the officer interacted with Hill because it was separate from the original call, Police Department spokesman James Fuqua said.
“That’s why the camera should have been activated by politics,” he said.
Coy, a 17-year-old member of the force, was released from duty, ordered to hand over his gun and badge and stripped of police powers pending the outcome of the investigation. Under the union agreement, the officer is still paid.
The release of an official is common in Columbus after a shooting.
“In this case, the Chief of Police directly observed what he believes is a potentially critical offense and takes an intermediate action for tax exemption until a disciplinary investigation can be completed,” said Glenn McEntyre, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Public Safety.
Ned Pettus Jr., the city’s public safety director, on Wednesday promised “a fair, impartial hearing” for Coy.
Officers answered the neighbor’s non-emergency call at 01.26 about a car in front of his house that had driven, then turned off and then turned on again, according to a copy of the call released Wednesday. Ginther said it was unclear if the car had anything to do with Hill.
Republican Attorney General Dave Yost on Wednesday promised a “complete, independent and expert inquiry” into the shooting.
“What we have now is an incomplete registration. We must allow the record to be completed and the evidence collected, ”Yost said. “Only the truth – the whole truth and nothing else – will result in justice.”
In May, the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer sparked waves of protests across the United States and around the world.