Hill, a 47-year old Black man, was shot and killed seconds after police arrived to investigate a trivial complaint.
The city of Columbus, Ohio, will pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit related to the police killing of Andre Hill.
“No amount of money will ever bring Andre Hill back to his family, but we believe this is an important and necessary step in the right direction,” Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein said in a statement.
According to Columbus’s Criminal Justice & Judiciary Chair, Shayla Favor, the settlement is the largest in the city’s history. Speaking to CNN, Favor said that she hopes the agreement will lead to further reform and progress.
“We cannot afford to continue in this manner,” she said. “I hope that this is the last time we will see something like this come before us.”
Hill, notes CNN, was shot and killed by police on December 22nd, after Officer Adam Coy and his colleague responded to a call regarding a man who had been sitting in an SUV for a prolonged period of time, repeatedly turning his engine on and off.
Hill, who is Black, was fatally shot seconds after the officers arrived. Body camera footage shows the 47-year-old African American man approaching the officers, holding an illuminated cell phone in one hand.
Despite Hill holding a cell phone and being very evidently unarmed, Coy opened fire, killing the man.
National Public Radio reports that neither Coy nor his colleague had activated their body cameras in the prelude to the shooting.
However, a 60-second “lookback” feature captured the shooting. The remaining footage showed that Hill was not provided any medical attention for more than 10 minutes afterward.
“This settlement tonight is a small step towards justice for the family of Andre Hill. Although it doesn’t bring him back to his family, I do pray that it offers some solace during this extremely difficult time,” Favor said in a statement. “Tonight, I want our community to know that this council has stepped up to the critical task of reform before us though our reimagining public safety work.”
As part of the settlement’s terms, Columbus has agreed to rename its municipal gym after Hill.
Benjamin Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney who represented Hill’s family and is known for his advocacy of other police brutality victims, said the facts of the case were clear-cut.
“Everybody knew that this was wrong. And in the face of wrong, what do we want responsible leaders to do? What do we want the example to be for our children?” Crump said. “When you see wrong, then your obligation is to do right.”
Hill’s daughter, Karissa Hill, said the settlement does not ease the family’s grief but is, at least, a step in the right direction.
“It’s one step toward something. It doesn’t help or doesn’t take the scar off of our hearts that we still have from my dad not being here,” Karissa Hill said in a press conference after the settlement was announced. “But it’s something, and it’s a start.”
Officer Adam Coy, notes NPR, was fired less than a week after the shooting for not turning on his body camera and failing to provide medical attention to Hill. He has since been charged with felonious murder and is facing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.