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Government & Politics

Columbus Agrees to Pay $10 Million to Andre Hill's Family

Andre Hill, fatally shot by Columbus police on Dec. 22, is memorialized on a shirt worn by his daughter, Karissa Hill, on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
/
AP
Andre Hill, fatally shot by Columbus police on Dec. 22, is memorialized on a shirt worn by his daughter, Karissa Hill, on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio.

The City of Columbus has agreed to pay $10 million to the family of Andre Hill, who was shot and killed by a Columbus Police officer in December. The payout is the largest in the city's history.

Hill was fatally shot in the early morning hours on December 22 by then-Columbus Police office Adam Coy, who was responding to a non-emergency call on Oberlin Drive in Northwest Columbus. Hill was inside a garage, delivering Christmas money according to the homeowners when Coy and another officer approached him.

“We understand that because of this former officer’s actions, the Hill family will never be whole,” said Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein in a statement. “No amount of money will ever bring Andre Hill back to his family, but we believe this is an important and necessary step in the right direction.”

Columbus will also rename a gymnasium in memory of Hill at the Brentnell Community Center on the city's Eastside. It was a central place in Hill's life and the destination of his funeral procession.

At a press conference Friday, family members like Hill’s daughter Karissa expressed appreciation for the recognition, but emotions were muted.

“It's one step toward something,” Hill said. “It doesn't help or doesn't take the scar off our hearts that we still have from my dad not being here."

The family called for state and congressional lawmakers to advance Andre’s Law, legislation already passed in Columbus that requires officers activate body cameras and render first aid.

Columbus City Council will vote on the settlement payment on Monday. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said the settlement will be paid out over two years.

Ginther calls the settlement an important step forward as the city continues its police reform.

“We take this very seriously and that we view his death as unacceptable and it was totally avoidable,” Ginther said.

Coy's body camera footage shows that he fatally shot Hill within 10 seconds of approaching him in the garage. However, because Coy did not activate his camera until after the shooting, there is no audio for the first 60 seconds of the footage – and therefore no recording of Coy's interaction with Hill.

The footage 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 officers 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.

Coy has been charged with murder, reckless homicide, felonious assault and dereliction of duty.

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