Order to turn off bodycams part of Andre Hill investigation

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The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks during the funeral of Andre Hill on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 at First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio. Hill, a 47-year-old Black man, was shot and killed by Columbus Division of Police Officer Adam Coy in the early morning of Dec. 22, 2020 after officers responded to a non-emergency call in the area. (Joshua A. Bickel/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Whether an officer who instructed other officers to turn off their body cameras in the aftermath of Andre Hill’s death violated policy is part of a wide-ranging investigation into Hill’s killing, a city spokesperson said Thursday.

The instruction was captured on another officer’s body camera footage the day of the shooting and was included in several more copies of videos released by the city Thursday.

As officers begin to arrive to the scene early on the morning of Dec. 22, with Hill’s body still laying on the garage floor, an officer can be heard demanding all the other officers turn their body cameras off.

“I need everyone to turn their camera off,” the officer said. An officer asks, “On?”

The officer responds, “No. Off.” Then the video ends.

Officers serve different roles at crime scenes, some requiring cameras and some not, said Glenn McEntyre, a spokesperson for the Columbus Department of Public Safety, which oversees the division of police.

“It is possible that some officers were in a position where their cameras were not required to be on,” McEntyre said Thursday in an email. “Who complied with policy and who did not is a question that’s under investigation—an answer today we simply do not yet have.”

Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan has promised a full investigation into Hill’s death, including the fact that no one helped Hill afterward as he lay moaning on the garage floor. Quinlan has said Hill would be alive if officers had stepped in.

In the moments after Hill was fatally shot, additional bodycam footage shows two other Columbus officers rolled Hill over and put handcuffs on him before leaving him alone again. None of them, according to the footage released last week, offered any first aid even though Hill was barely moving, groaning and bleeding while laying on the garage floor.

“He was bringing me Christmas money. He didn’t do anything,” a woman inside the house shouted at police afterward.

In bodycam footage released Thursday, a man inside the house, referring to a stun gun, says: “Why didn’t y’all just taze the dude? Why’d you have to shoot him, dude?”

“I can’t answer any of your questions,” an officer responds. “You’re going to have a seat in the car.”

The officer who shot Hill, Adam Coy was fired Dec. 28 for failing to activate his body camera before the confrontation and for not providing medical aid to Hill. Coy had a long history of complaints from citizens

Beyond an internal Columbus police department investigation, Ohio’s attorney general, the U.S. attorney for central Ohio and the FBI have begun their own probes into the shooting.

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Associated Press writers John Seewer in Toledo, Mark Gillispie in Cleveland and Kantele Franko in Columbus contributed to this report. Farnoush Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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