Adam Coy was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury following an investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s office. Coy, a 19-year veteran of the force, is charged with murder in the commission of a felony, felonious assault, dereliction of duty for failure to turn on his body camera, and dereliction of duty for failure to inform his fellow officer that he felt Hill, a 47-year-old Black man, presented a danger.
Yost said Coy has been arrested and will appear in court Thursday.
“I believe the evidence, in this case, supports the indictment, and my office will vigorously prosecute this case,” Yost said while announcing the indictment.
The Ohio Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation into the shooting, Yost said. The Attorney General’s office will be handling the prosecution due to an election transition within the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office.
Coy and another officer had responded to a neighbor’s nonemergency call after 1 a.m. on Dec. 22 about a car in front of his house in the city’s northwest side that had been running, then shut off, then turned back on, according to a copy of the call released in December.
Police bodycam footage showed Hill emerging from a garage and holding up a cellphone in his left hand seconds before he was fatally shot by Coy. There is no audio because Coy hadn’t activated the body camera; an automatic “look back” feature captured the shooting without audio.
In the moments after Hill was fatally shot, additional bodycam footage shows two other Columbus officers rolled Hill over and put handcuffs on him before leaving him alone again. None of them, according to the footage released, offered any first aid even though Hill was barely moving, groaning, and bleeding while laying on the garage floor.
Coy, who had a long history of complaints from citizens, was fired on Dec. 28 for failing to activate his body camera before the confrontation and for not providing medical aid to Hill.
“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,” Public Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. said in a statement at the time of Coy’s firing.
A message was left Wednesday with Coy’s attorney seeking comment. The union representing Columbus police officers issued a short statement saying it will wait to see how the case plays out.
Coy “will have the ability to present facts on his behalf at a trial just like any other citizen,” said Keith Ferrell, president of the local FOP. “At that time, we will see all the facts for the first time with the public as the process plays out.”
The indictment of Coy comes less than a week after Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan was forced out of his role after Mayor Andrew Ginther said he lost confidence in his ability to make the necessary changes to the department.
Hill’s family, while still grieving Hill’s death, is happy with the indictment which they see as a first step, said Attorney Michael Wright.
It’s important to start holding these officers accountable for their bad actions and their bad acts,” Wright said. “I think it will go a long way for one, the public to trust law enforcement, for two, to potentially change the behavior of officers and their interaction with individuals that shouldn’t be killed or should not endure excessive force.”
The Columbus Chief of Police issued a statement:
“The Columbus Police Department is aware of the grand jury’s decision to indict former employee Adam Coy. The Division respects the rule of law. We will continue to fully cooperate with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.”
The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WCMH contributed to this report.