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Columbus police officer charged with murder in Andre Hill shooting

Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has announced former Columbus Police Officer Adam Coy has been charged with murder for the shooting death of a Black man in December.

In a statement, Yost's office said Coy was indicted Wednesday by a grand jury and faces charges of murder, felonious assault and two counts of dereliction of duty, one for failing to turn on his body-worn camera and one for failing to inform his fellow officer of the danger he believed was present during the incident.

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"Coy was peacefully taken into custody this afternoon as he awaits arraignment," the statement said.

Coy fatally shot 47-year-old Andre Hill on Dec. 22 while responding to a call concerning a suspicious vehicle repeatedly being turned on and off outside of a Columbus residence.

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The 19-year veteran of the force claimed he saw a gun in Hill's right hand, which is why he discharged his service weapon, Yost said during a press conference Wednesday.

But no weapon was found on the scene, Yost said.

The grand jury's indictment follows the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducting an investigation into the officer-involved shooting that included a review of body-worn cameras, cyber data and interviewing the involved officers, he said.

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"Let me be clear that I believe the evidence in this case supports the indictment," Yost said. "And my office will vigorously prosecute this case."

Mark Collins, Coy's lawyer, said they expected the indictment but said evidence would prove his client was justified in his use of force.

"Police officers have to make these split-second decisions, and they can be mistaken," Collins said, The New York Times reported. "If they are mistaken, as long as there's an honest belief and that mistake is reasonable, the action is justified."

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Collins said Hill had a keychain in his hand.

Coy is scheduled to appear for a bail hearing on Thursday.

Coy was fired in the days following the shooting and amid uproar from the public as Hill's death came weeks after a police officer fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson, Jr., in the door way of his home on Dec. 4.

Late last month, Columbus Division of Police Chief Thomas Quinlan was demoted to deputy chief due to the shootings.

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