Columbus, Ohio, Mayor Andrew Ginther said Thursday that the city’s police chief Thomas Quinlan has agreed to step down five weeks after an officer fatally shot Andre Hill, an unarmed Black man.
“It became clear to me that Chief Quinlan could not successfully implement the reform and change I expect and that the community demands. Columbus residents have lost faith in him and in Division’s ability to change on its own. Chief Quinlan understood,” Ginther said in a statement.
Quinlan released a statement confirming the announcement.
“The opportunity to serve as your Chief of Police has been the honor of my career,” Quinlan said. “While very much hoped to continue in that role, I respect the Safety Director’s decision, and the community’s need to go in a different direction.”
Adam Coy, the Columbus Police officer involved in shooting Hill on Dec. 22, was fired following the incident. The city’s NAACP called on Coy’s arrest.
The state's attorney general has been investigating since last month for possible criminal charges.
"(Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigations) will conduct a complete, independent and expert investigation – a search for the truth. We conduct more officer involved shooting investigations than any agency in the State of Ohio, and will pursue every lead without favoritism or regard to politics," Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said.
Hill was holding a cellphone at the time of his death, based on a review of one of the responding officer's body-worn camera footage. Hill walked toward the officer with a cellphone in his left hand while his right hand was not visible.
Officers were called to the area for a report of a man sitting in an SUV, continually turning on and off the vehicle, police said.