COLUMBUS, Ohio — As light snow fell around the church, Andre Hill’s family, friends and strangers angry about his death walked into a Columbus church to honor his life.
Inside the church on Tuesday morning, a photo of Hill, 47, surrounded by the faces of Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and the other Black people killed by authorities in recent years leaned against the stage next to his open casket.
They gathered to honor the life of 47-year-old Andre Hill — known as “Dre” to friends and “Big Daddy” to his three grandchildren — after he was fatally shot by a white police officer days before Christmas.
Adam Coy, the officer who shot Hill, has been terminated by Columbus police. Body camera video from Coy and other officers who were at the scene on December 22 was released last week. The video showed officers did not give Hill aid after he was shot, instead they handcuffed him as he lay dying on the driveway.
After the shooting, a woman from inside the home where the incident happened came outside and told officers Hill was there to drop off Christmas money.
Officers were in the neighborhood after a non-emergency call about a suspicious vehicle. Officers saw Hill leaving a home through a garage and confronted him.
The Rev. Al Sharpton delivered Hill’s eulogy, saluting Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and other city officials for ordering the firing of Coy less than a week after he shot Hill. But he said it’s not enough.
“We cannot have a precedent that if you kill us, you just lose your job and keep living your life as you were,” Sharpton told mourners.
Hill’s daughter, Karissa Hill, broke down in tears while speaking about her father on stage.
“He was my gentle giant. He was my best friend,” she said. “We had special bond that nobody understood.”