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Officer fatally shoots unarmed Black man in Columbus, Ohio; officer has been dismissed

Police-Outreach Officers
Posted at 3:10 PM, Dec 22, 2020

An officer has been dismissed following the shooting of an unarmed Black man in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday.

Columbus Police said that the man was 47 years old, and that the man was holding a cell phone at the time of his death, based on a review of one of the responding officer's body-worn camera footage. Police said the man walked toward the officer with a cell phone in his left hand while his right hand was not visible.

Officers were called to the area for a report of a man sitting in an SUV, continually turning on and off the vehicle.

Officials have not released the name of the person killed, as of Tuesday afternoon.

WCMH-TVreported that the officer who fired the fatal shot was Adam Coy, an 18-year veteran of the Columbus Police. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Coy was involved in an excessive force complaint that resulted in the City of Columbus paying a $45,000 payout. Coy was suspended for 160 hours for the 2012 incident, but kept his job.

The shooting was the second time a citizen was killed by law enforcement within the city. Three weeks ago, Casey Goodson Jr. was shot and killed by Franklin County Sheriff Deputy Jason Meade. Authorities said that investigators recovered a weapon on the scene, but a family attorney told CNN that Goodson was holding a sandwich at the time of the shooting. No charges have been filed in that case, and investigation is still ongoing.

“We are still raw from the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and less than 3 weeks ago, Casey Goodson Jr. Early this morning we learned of the killing of another African American at the hands of law enforcement,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a news conference on Tuesday.

During the shooting death of Goodson, deputies were not wearing body-worn cameras. During Tuesday’s shooting, Ginther said that officers did not turn on their body-worn cameras until after the shooting occurred.

Ginther said that the body-worn cameras worn by Columbus Police have a 60-second “lookback” feature that captured video of the shooting. The lookback feature does not capture the audio.

"The Division invested millions of dollars in these cameras for the express purpose of creating a video and audio record of these kinds of encounters. They provide transparency and accountability, and protect the public, as well as officers, when the facts are in question," Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said.

WBNS reported that the cruiser’s dash camera was not activated as police were responding to a non-emergency call that did not require lights and sirens.

“Our community is exhausted,” Ginther added. “While it is very early in the investigation, there is one fact that disturbs me greatly. The officer involved did not turn on their body-worn camera until after the shooting.”

Ginther said that the officer’s badge and gun has been turned in, but would continue getting paid during the investigation due to contractual obligations.

The family of the man killed on Tuesday will be shown the body-worn camera footage before it is released to the public. Ginther estimates the video will be made public by Wednesday.