A fairly common refrain from me here at Bearing Arms is that I understand that being a police officer is a difficult job. As a result, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt at times when others might not. I also understand that cops aren’t superhuman paragons of virtue. They’re living, breathing people with all the failings that might entail.
While there is a lot of anti-police sentiment targeting police officers who may have actually done it right, there are also police officers who look to be doing it wrong.
Now, one of those police officers isn’t an officer any longer.
The Columbus police officer who shot and killed Andre’ Hill last week has been fired from his job with the division of police.
Columbus Safety Director Ned Pettus Jr. issued a statement after a hearing Monday morning saying he would uphold Chief Thomas Quinlan’s recommendation to terminate Adam Coy.
“The information, evidence and representations made by Chief 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.”
Members of the police union representing Columbus officers attended the hearing on behalf of Coy, who was not in attendance, according to a statement from Pettus’ office.
Coy and another officer responded to a neighbor’s nonemergency call after 1 a.m. Tuesday 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 Wednesday.
Mayor Andrew Ginther said it remains unclear if that car had anything to do with Hill.
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 the officer hadn’t activated the body camera; an automatic “look back” feature captured the shooting without audio.
An investigation is also underway regarding the second officer and his failure to turn on his body cam.
Look, I wasn’t there and I don’t know what was going through Coy’s head. Did he see the phone and think it was a gun? Probably. Is that the result of improper training? Most likely.
It doesn’t matter, though. He allegedly shot an unarmed man while wearing a badge. This at a time when anti-police sentiment is at its highest point since the 1970s. This is a time when officers need to do everything right. They need to follow procedure perfectly and understand that they’re under a microscope.
Coy clearly didn’t. Now he’s out of a job and will likely face criminal charges. Had he followed procedure and turned on his body cam when he should have, it might have included some information that would have exonerated him. Instead, he’s looking at prison. That’s not a good place to be if you’ve worn a badge.