Fired Ohio police officer under arrest on murder charge in Black man's shooting

FILE PHOTO: Protesters gather outside of the home where Andre Maurice Hill, 47, was killed in Columbus, Ohio, U.S., December 24, 2020. REUTERS/Megan Jelinger

(Reuters)


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(Reuters) - A former Ohio police officer, who is white, will appear at a bail hearing on Friday after his arrest on a charge of murder in the fatal shooting on an unarmed Black man in December.

Adam Coy, 44, a 19-year-veteran of the Columbus police force, was indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday in the Dec. 22 killing of Andre Maurice Hill, 47, officials said. Coy was responding to a nuisance call about car noise.

Coy, who was fired a week after the shooting, told his fellow police officers that he thought Hill was holding a gun and he feared for his life. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost told a press conference on Wednesday that Hill had a cellphone and no weapons were found.

"Andre Hill should not be dead," Yost said, announcing the charges. "No weapon was found at the scene."

The case is the latest in a series of police killings of Black people that have highlighted longstanding issues of racial injustice in U.S. law enforcement. Last summer, a handful of high-profile deaths in Minneapolis; Atlanta; Louisville, Kentucky, and elsewhere triggered a wave of nationwide protests that pushed police reform to the top of the U.S. political agenda.

The grand jury indicted Coy on one charge of murder, one charge of felonious assault and two counts of dereliction of duty, Yost said. Coy was arrested at the office of his attorney Wednesday afternoon.

His attorney, Mark Collins, told Reuters he would enter a not-guilty plea for his client and ask the judge for a "reasonable bond."

"My client is not a flight risk, he voluntarily surrendered, and he is not a safety risk to the community," Collins said. "The only question here is his judgment while acting in the course of his duty, not whether he is a danger."

(Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Richard Chang)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021

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