2nd Officer Involved In Andre Hill Shooting Said She ‘Did Not Observe Any Threats’ Before Shooting Started

By Zack Linly

The Dec 22 shoot­ing of 47-year-old Andre Hill in Columbus, Ohio, is arguably among the most reck­less acts of police bru­tal­i­ty we’ve seen this year — and that’s say­ing a lot. As the inves­ti­ga­tion into the inci­dent — in which a white police offi­cer opened fire on a Black man who was stand­ing in a garage clear­ly hold­ing a cell­phone, repeat­ed­ly shout­ed at him to “put your fuck­ing hands out to the side” while he was lying on the ground shot and then failed to pro­vide med­ical help — con­tin­ues, new details have emerged. Those details include the sec­ond offi­cer on the scene report­ing that she “did not observe any threats” from Hill that would prompt an offi­cer to shoot in the first place.

ABC News reports that Officer Amy Detwiler, who arrived at the scene after now-for­mer offi­cer Adam Coy, the one who fired the shots and was sub­se­quent­ly fired for incom­pe­tence and “gross neglect of duty,” said she saw Hill walk away from a car when she arrived in response to a non-emer­gency call involv­ing an SUV left idling.

Adam Coy left Andre Hill right

As The Root pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed, Coy didn’t have his body cam­era on until after the shoot­ing, but because the cam­eras have a func­tion that records 60 sec­onds of “look back” footage, video footage of the shoot­ing was record­ed and recent­ly released by the police depart­ment. No audio could be heard before the shots were fired, but Detwiler’s report to inves­ti­ga­tors sheds some light on what pre­ced­ed the shooting.

From ABC:

Detwiler didn’t see any inter­ac­tion between Hill and Coy, but said Coy told her Hill had walked into a next-door garage.

After the offi­cers crossed over to the garage they saw Hill, with Detwiler telling inves­ti­ga­tors “she felt Mr. Hill may need assis­tance to enter the res­i­dence,” accord­ing to her interview.

Coy asked Hill in a “nor­mal tone of voice” to exit the garage and Hill com­plied but with­out respond­ing, Detwiler said.

As Hill walked out, Detwiler “did not observe any threats from Mr. Hill,” nor did she see a gun, the inter­nal affairs report said.

Officer Detwiler stat­ed Officer Coy observed a firearm and yelled, ‘There’s a gun in his oth­er hand, there’s a gun in his oth­er hand!’” the report said. “Officer Detwiler heard gun­fire at this moment.”

No gun was found at the scene, police said.

A few gen­tle reminders: First, this all came from a call to police about a truck left run­ning in the street. Second, Hill approached offi­cers after he was ordered to do so and was hold­ing his cell­phone in the air with the screen lit up and fac­ing the offi­cers — mean­ing he was going far out of his way to show he wasn’t armed or pre­sent­ing any kind of threat, but he was still shot all the same. Third, despite the spot­light on police bru­tal­i­ty and sys­temic racism in polic­ing that has been in place since the death of George Floyd, a lot of cops seem to not be get­ting the mes­sage. Lastly, as we pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed, Coy is no rook­ie cop. He’s a 19-year police vet­er­an with dozens of mis­con­duct com­plaints — includ­ing exces­sive force alle­ga­tions — in his per­son­nel file.Coy is still under crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion and hope­ful­ly, he will be charged in Hill’s death, but his fir­ing should have come long ago. Hill should still be alive today.