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Body Camera's 'Look-Back' Function Captures Fatal Shooting

Columbus, Ohio, reels from another law enforcement shooting
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2020 8:03 AM CST
Updated Dec 23, 2020 1:08 PM CST

(Newser) – A Columbus, Ohio, police officer who shot and killed a Black man in the early hours of Tuesday morning didn't turn on his body camera until after the fatal shot was fired. CNN reports Mayor Andrew Ginther disclosed that detail at a news conference, describing that belated activation as "greatly" disturbing. Ginther said the cameras are equipped with technology that "provides a 60-second look back," meaning the shooting was indeed captured on video, though there is no audio. It shows a man approaching Officer Adam Coy, 44, with a phone in his left hand. His right hand is not shown. The footage of the post-shooting scene allegedly shows the officers did not immediately provide aid to the 47-year-old man, who later died at a hospital. The name of the victim has not yet been released, and no weapon was found at the scene. More:

  • There is no dashboard camera footage of the shooting because the police cars' sirens and lights weren't turned on. That's because the two officers were reporting to a non-emergency call around 1:30am on Tuesday. NBC News reports they arrived in separate cars, and neither turned their bodycams on upon arrival.
  • The caller, whom the Columbus Dispatch describes as a neighbor, said a man had been sitting in an SUV for a long period, alternating between turning the engine on and off. The responding officers reportedly found a garage door open at the home in question. The man was reportedly in the garage and was shot as he approached the officers.

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  • Ginther made clear his frustration. "If you're not going to turn on your body-worn camera, you cannot serve and protect the people of Columbus," he said, noting that it cost the city upwards of $5 million to get the body cameras in place. "I have asked Chief (Thomas) Quinlan to remove the officer involved of duty and turn in his badge and gun," Ginther continued, a request the Dispatch describes as equivalent to a suspension.
  • The Dispatch reports Quinlan has indeed ordered that Coy be relieved of duty. He will be paid during the investigation.
  • The Dispatch has more on Coy: In addition to nine complaints against him in 2003, for which he received written counseling, he was suspended for 160 hours in 2012 for "banging" the head of a driver suspected of being under the influence against the car's hood four times; the man was paid $45,000 by the city over the 3am incident.
  • "Our community is exhausted," Ginther added at the press conference, and the New York Times provides context. Protests erupted three weeks prior to Tuesday's shooting following the fatal shooting Casey Goodson Jr. He was killed by a county sheriff’s deputy; such deputies don't have body cameras. A lawyer for the deputy says Goodson was seen waving a gun in a car and, after a chase, pointed the weapon at the deputy; Goodson's family says the 23-year-old was holding only a COVID mask and Subway sandwiches. (Read more on that shooting here.)

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