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Fired Columbus Officer Adam Coy Released After Posting Bail

Former Columbus Police officer Adam Coy was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with the murder of Andre Hill.
Franklin County Jail
Former Columbus Police officer Adam Coy was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with the murder of Andre Hill.

Fired Columbus Police officer Adam Coy has posted bail and been released from jail, just hours after a Franklin County judge agreed to reduce his bond to $1 million.

Coy, who is white, is charged with the fatal shooting of 47-year-old Andre Hill, who is Black, in late December. A grand jury indicted Coy on charges of murder, felony assault and two counts of dereliction of duty, making him the first white Columbus Police officer charged with shooting a civilian in over two decades.

Coy pleaded not guiltyin Franklin County court last Friday. A judge initially set his bond at $3 million, with a $20,000 recognizance bond, and forbade Coy from communicating with other police officers or witnesses.

Defense attorney Mark Collins filed a motion Sunday in an effort to reduce Coy's bond. Collins said after Friday's arraignment that he planned to file a motion for bond reconsideration, citing the amount as inappropriate in comparison to the bail set in the cases of other on-duty police killings in the past year – including Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer who killed George Floyd.

Attorney Anthony Pearson, as a special counsel for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, argued Tuesday that Coy’s past history setting up active shooter training scenarios for the Columbus Division of Police could lend him more access to guns and make him a particular danger to the community.

Collins rebutted, saying Coy no longer has access to those firearms.

“The issue here will be whether his subjective belief at the time that Mr. Hill was a threat to him was reasonable, and that’s an issue for trial,” Collins argued.

The presiding judge sided with the defense, reducing the bond to $1 million, while noting other stipulations Coy must adhere to before trial.

“Stay away and have no contact with the victim in this case, that he surrender his passport, have no contact with law enforcement officers associated with the case, and is not to possess a firearm,” the judge ordered.

Coy was freed Tuesday afternoon from the Franklin County jail where he was being held.

Coy fatally shot Hill early in the morning on December 22, while responding to a non-emergency call in Northwest Columbus. Hill was inside a neighbor's garage – delivering Christmas money, according to the home owners – when Coy and another officer approached him.

However, because neither Coy or the other officer activated their body-worn cameras, there is no audio of the encounter until after Coy shot Hill. Footage from a 60-second "lookback" feature shows Coy firing his gun just seconds after Hill turned around to face officers with a cell phone in his hand. Hill was unarmed.

Coy and other offiers at the scene also neglected to administer first aid to Hill for more than 10 minutes after the shooting.

Both Coy's failures to activate his bodycam and provide aid were cited by the city of Columbus in its decision to fire him the week after Hill's death. Investigations into other police officers involved in the incident are ongoing.

Coy's lawyers contended Friday, for the first time, that Coy and Hill interacted before the deadly encounter – an allegation that is difficult to verify because Coy had not activated his camera at the time, against department policy.

"You have to understand, in these types of cases, it's not just this video that people have seen, it's the 2-3 minutes of what happened prior to that our client had an interaction with, with regards to Mr. Hill," Collins said Friday.

Protesters outside the courthouse Friday said that Coy should not have been allowed bond at all. Hill's family says it will not be satisfied until Coy is convicted on all charges.

Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.
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.