Columbus police officer shoots and kills unarmed Black man


Editor’s note: Our sister station, WCMH, corrected their story to say one of the man’s hands was not visible after incorrectly reporting the man had one of his hands in his pocket.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/WJW) — A Columbus police officer who shot and killed a Black man holding a cell phone in Ohio’s capital city early Tuesday did not activate his body camera beforehand, and dash cameras on the officers’ cruiser were also not activated, city officials said.

According to our sister-station WCMH in Columbus, police were responding to a non-emergency call when they spotted a man in an open garage. The man approached the officer with a phone in one hand; his other hand was not visible, according to a release from Columbus police. That is when the officer fired.

Because of an automatic “look back” feature on the body camera, the shooting was captured on video but without audio, said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and the city’s department of public safety.

Ginther said the body camera footage will be released in the next 24 hours after the next of kin has been notified. The body camera footage will first be shared with the family.

“I am deeply saddened, frustrated, angry, demanding answers of what happened in our community earlier this morning,” Ginther told WCMH. “I am committed to transparency and accountability in our Division of Police.”

The shooting victim has not been identified.

Ginther said the officer is still receiving pay due to his contract. A police spokesperson said the process to relieve the officer of duty was underway but that that did not mean the person was fired. That would not happen until after a criminal investigation is complete.

WCMH has identified the officer as Adam Coy, an 18-year veteran of the Columbus Police Department.

The Ohio State Bureau of Criminal Investigation has taken over the case.

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