Coy’s termination follows a disciplinary hearing held Monday. The local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police represented Coy at the hearing.
“The information, evidence and representations made by Chief (Thomas) Quinlan as the investigator are, in my opinion, indisputable. His disciplinary recommendation is well-supported and appropriate,” Pettus said. “The actions of Adam Coy do not live up to the oath of a Columbus Police officer, or the standards we, and the community, demand of our officers.”
Coy fatally shot Hill, who was Black, last Tuesday within seconds of their encounter, as Hill walked toward Coy holding an illuminated cell phone in his left hand, body camera footage released last week shows. Hill was unarmed.
Quinlan had recommended firing Coy. Quinlan said in a statement Monday the evidence against Coy provided “solid rationale” for termination.
“This is what accountability looks like,” Quinlan said, adding that Coy will now have to answer to state investigators regarding Hill’s death.
Quinlan sought Coy’s firing because he shot Hill, but also because he didn’t activate his body-worn camera when he responded to the call or render aid after shooting Hill. Coy turned his camera on after the shooting, and the camera’s look-back feature captured the 60 seconds prior to Coy turning it on.
“Known facts do not establish that this use of deadly force was objectively reasonable. You failed to de-escalate, and failed to render aid,” Pettus wrote in his ruling.
Pettus said that additional allegations of misconduct regarding Coy and other Columbus police officers who were at the scenebl will continue to be investigated and use of body-worn cameras and duty to render aid will be among actions under further review. Columbus police have released only Coy’s camera footage.
“Because of the potential for those cases to come before me, and to protect the integrity and impartiality of that process and any future ruling, it is not appropriate for me to comment further,” Pettus said.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther applauded the decision to fire Coy. Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation is also reviewing the case for potential criminal charges.
“Now we wait on the investigation of BCI, a presentation of the evidence to a grand jury and potential federal charges from the U.S. Department of Justice. We expect transparency, accountability and justice. The family and the entire community deserve it,” Ginther said.