COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A funeral service for Andre Hill, a Black man who was shot and killed by a Columbus Police officer on Dec. 22, was held Tuesday.
Hill, 47, was fatally shot by Officer Adam Coy, who is white, as Hill emerged from a garage holding a cellphone with his left hand and his right hand not visible. Civil rights leader Al Sharpton and attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Hill’s family, both spoke at the service.
First to speak was City Council President Shannon Hardin saying, “It is both, unfought and deserved and certainly an unfortunate honor to be with you this morning.”
He went on to mention a law that the city council is working to implement, in honor of Andre’ Hill.
“If we are our brother’s keeper, then we as a community must advance Andre’s law,” says President Hardin, “This is a new year, and we will see change because we must honor the life of Andre’, we will honor him because he was Columbus. We will honor him because his life mattered.”
Ohio Congresswoman Joyce Beatty approached the stage after the council president, beginning her speech with, “As you know he was father, a brother, grandfather, friend.”
Rep. Beatty says the fight for justice extends to the White House. A fight she plans to take on, adding, “His death will not merely be a rallying cry of protest, his death will not be vain. His memory will not be forgotten. Instead, his life will be celebrated as a call for justice.”
watch: Funeral service for Andre Hill
Hill’s daughter, Karissa came to the stage, speaking about her relationship with her father.
She says he was always there for his family, calling him a loving and gentle person.
“He was my gentle giant. I had called him my rock. He was my support. He was my best friend, said Karissa.
She said his death is even more difficult because it was all so sudden.
“Some of this is still unbelievable. Sometimes I feel like he’s at work, coming home any minute. This is very sudden, it’s a void in my heart, I will never get back,” said Karissa.
She added, “I thank him for being the best father that a daughter or a child could have.”
Karissa couldn’t finish her speech and was helped off the stage by friends and family.
Attorney Ben Crump walked to the podium after Krissa. He centered his message around demanding justice for the family but also humanity for all African-Americans in the United States.
“Woven in this plea for justice, is a plea, Karissa, for humanity, said Attorney Crump, ” we’re all human beings, that’s a fact. But to extended humanity to all our brothers and sisters is a choice, it’s a choice!”
Reverend Al Sharpton was the final speaker, delivering a message of accountability in all law enforcement across the U.S.
“These people are not begging you for something. They pay you. Your taxes pay for this cop. You[‘re] not asking for no favor, says Rev. Sharpton.
He says the people are tired of excuses and officers with multiple complaints shouldn’t be given more chances.