Adam Coy, the former Columbus, Ohio, police officer who shot and killed Andre Hill, entered a not guilty plea to a count of murder in the commission of a felony and other charges at his arraignment Friday.
Coy appeared virtually from Franklin County Jail — wearing a tan jumpsuit and face mask — and a judge set bond at $3 million and ordered that he have no contact with police officers or witnesses in his case.
The case centers on Coy’s actions on December 22 while responding to a call about a man who had been sitting in his SUV for an extended period, repeatedly turning his engine on and off.
Coy fatally shot Hill, who was Black, within seconds of their encounter as Hill walked toward Coy while holding an illuminated cell phone in his left hand, body camera footage showed. Hill was unarmed.
A grand jury also indicted the former officer on felonious assault and two counts of dereliction of duty on Wednesday, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. Coy was arrested at his attorney’s office that same afternoon.
The ex-cop only spoke to acknowledge to the judge that he could hear the proceeding.
His attorney, Mark Collins, cited his client’s military service and asked the court to set bond of up to $250,000.
Collins said his client was not a flight risk. He called the proceedings a “self defense case” — not a “who done it” — to determine whether the level of force used by the officer was justifiable.
Prosecutor Anthony Pierson argued for a high bond, saying that Hill lost his life as a result of Coy’s actions. Hill’s family sat the courtroom’s first row, behind the prosecutor.
The judge denied Collins’ pleas to consider reducing the bond, saying the that “based on everything that I’ve heard, that is the bond that I’ve set.”
The judge also set a separate $20,000 recognizance bond.
Hill’s family not entirely satisfied with the indictment
On Thursday, Hill’s family — through attorney Ben Crump — said they were “relieved” about the charges but not entirely “satisfied” with the indictment of the officer for killing a man carrying only his cell phone.
“The reason they are not satisfied is because we know, based on what has happened before in America, that when a white police officer kills an unarmed black person, that does not guarantee a conviction,” Crump said.
The two dereliction of duty counts apply to Coy’s failure to use his body camera and “his failure to inform his fellow officer that he felt Andre Hill presented a danger,” according to Yost.
Coy said Hill had a gun, report says
Coy turned on his body camera after the shooting. The camera’s look-back feature captured 60 seconds of video, but no audio, prior to Coy turning it on.
The footage appeared to show Coy walking toward Hill, who moved toward the officer. Coy started shooting within a few seconds. It’s not clear whether Hill or Coy said anything during their brief encounter because Coy had not activated his body camera.
The first few seconds of Coy’s body camera video in which audio is available showed Coy ordering Hill to get his hands out to the side, ordering him to get on his stomach, and warning an officer to not get close because one of Hill’s arms was under the car where he collapsed.
About 37 seconds after the shooting, Coy asked whether a medic was coming. A report from the Columbus police chief after the shooting said an officer who responded with Coy said she heard the ex-cop say he saw a gun, and that Coy yelled, “There’s a gun in his other hand! There’s a gun in his other hand!”
Coy was fired in December. Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said at the time that the evidence provided “solid rationale” for Coy’s termination.
Quinlan stepped down from his duties in January because he “could not successfully implement the reform and change” the mayor wanted, Ginther said at the time. Quinlan remains with the Division of Police as deputy chief, according to the mayor’s office.