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Andre Hill's Family Wants Former Officer Adam Coy Convicted Of All Charges

Attorney Ben Crump pumps Karissa Hill's (Andre Hill's daughter) fist in the air, celebrating Coy's indictment
Adora Namigadde
Attorney Ben Crump pumps Karissa Hill's (Andre Hill's daughter) fist in the air, celebrating Coy's indictment

Andre Hill’s family is demanding that former Columbus Police officer Adam Coy, who was arrested for the December killing of Hill, be convicted of all charges.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Hill family, says the Wednesday evening indictment was a good first step. But he says that justice won’t be served unless Coy is convicted in court.

“We still expect, based on this evidence, for you to get a conviction,” Crump said at a Thursday press conference.

The grand jury charges against Coy include murder, felonious assault, dereliction of duty for failing to activate his body camera, and dereliction of duty for failing to alert his fellow officer that he felt Hill presented a danger.

“We are gonna make sure that all four convictions happen,” said Hill’s daughter Karrissa Hill. “That’s what we want and that’s what we’re shooting for. I wish we could have added a couple more charges, but I’m not gonna get into that.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, whose office is leading prosecution in the case, announced the charges Wednesday by saying, “Andre Hill should not be dead.”

In the past 20 years, Coy is just the second Columbus Police officer to be indicted for fatally shooting a civilian. The first was former officer Andrew Mitchell, who faces murder and voluntary manslaughter charges for killing Donna Castleberry in August 2018.

Coy, who is white, shot and killed Hill, who is Black, on Dec. 22, 2020 during a non-emergency run in northwest Columbus. A resident nearby had called to complain that someone was turning a car on and off, and Coy and Officer Amy Detweiller found Hill inside a neighbor’s garage early in the morning. The homeowners at the address say the 47-year-old man was waiting to deliver Christmas money.

Neither Coy nor Detweiller activated their police body cameras before the shooting. A 60-second "lookback" feature shows that Hill turned to face the officers with a cellphone in his hand, and that Coy shot Hill within seconds of encountering him. Following the recommendation of then-Police Chief Tom Quinlan, Coy was fired on December 28 by the city's public safety director.

“It was a 311 call. You get out with your gun pulled on a 311 call? Not even a 911 call,” Crump says. “This was about a loud car.”

Hill’s sister, brother and daughter say they’re pleased about the indictment, and that they consider it to be the beginning of a long road.

“I’m just wishing that everybody, a lot of people, Black and white citizens, bring this tragedy home with you,” Hill’s brother Alvin Williams says. “And understand how you would feel if it was your loved ones. It’s not a black and white issue. This is a people issue.”

Williams says he feels empathy for other officers in the Columbus Division of Police.

“I’d also like to appreciate the good officers who did not deserve this,” Williams says. “Who have to go everyday, non-Black officers and Black officers, that have to go home and suffer and be mentally tormented, that ‘I can’t go and do my job and people respect me because they might feel that I’m like him.'"

At a Thursday press conference, Gov. Mike DeWine said "my heart goes out" to Hill's family, calling the shooting a "horrible, horrible, horrible tragedy."

DeWine also offered this response when asked what his message would be to police officers after Coy's indictment: "I have great faith in our criminal justice system, and when a grand jury makes a decision, the system is in fact working. Someone is indicted. You have to presume everyone is innocent until they go to the full trial, and that’s what we all have to do, but the system is working and moving forward."

Coy is scheduled to be arraigned Friday afternoon.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.