Footage from an official’s body camera, circulated on Thursday, showed him killing 47-year-old Andre Maurice Hill with multiple gunshots in the garage of a house in Columbus, Ohio. The Mayor of Columbus, Andrew Ginther, was “outraged” by the incident.
An African-American man had been shot dead by the police in the city three weeks earlier. Once again, police officers saw a black man and concluded “that he is criminal and dangerous,” commented attorney Ben Crump, who represents several families of victims of police violence, on Hill’s death.
The footage shows Hill approaching the police officer on Monday evening. He is holding a cell phone in his left hand, his right hand cannot be seen. Seconds later, the officer fires and Hill collapses. The policeman had been called to the location about a minor incident. According to media reports, it was about a man who sat in a car and repeatedly started and switched it off.
Why the policeman shot is unclear. The video is without sound. Hill didn’t carry a gun. According to local media, complaints about the disproportionate use of force are said to have been received against the police officer.
In early December, 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. was shot dead by a police officer in Columbus when he was returning home. According to his family, he was holding a sandwich that the officer thought was a firearm.
Last year there were months of nationwide protests against excessive violence and racism in the United States. The demonstrations were triggered by the death of the unarmed African American George Floyd in a police operation in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the end of May. On the fringes of the mostly peaceful protests, there were repeated riots.
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