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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Celebration of life for Andre Hill takes national spotlight in push for police reform

Jan 5, 2021
News Articles

Snow was falling lightly on people who carried Black Lives Matter signs on the front lawn of the First Church of God Tuesday morning. Breaking the silence from time to time was the blare of a car horn as a show of support.

Columbus once again in the national spotlight and a call for police reform. The man at the center of it all, Andre Maurice Hill, 47, was killed December 22nd by a Columbus Police officer on a non-emergency call.

Preachers, politicians, and grieving loved ones paid tribute to Andre Hill on Tuesday, two weeks to the day after the unarmed Black man was shot multiple times on the northwest side of Columbus. The service, by invitation only was socially distanced and people were wearing masks due to COVID-19 protocols. (WSYX/WTTE){ }{br}{/p}

Preachers, politicians, and grieving loved ones paid tribute to Hill on Tuesday, two weeks to the day after the unarmed Black man was shot multiple times on the northwest side. The service, by invitation only was socially distanced and people were wearing masks due to COVID-19 protocols.

Hill’s brother, Alvon Williams told the church, “I would love for all of us to practice more on learning one another than the judgment and hate. I appreciate it if the police departments, not only locally here but over the land would start getting accustomed to who we are, then you don’t have to use the excuse of being afraid,” said Williams. “Everybody’s hurt. And everybody’s life matters.”

Investigators said Andre Hill was unarmed when he was shot by officer Adam Coy two weeks ago Tuesday. Coy has been fired.

The family’s nationally known lawyer Ben Crump is calling for his arrest.

“They now knew he was unarmed. Why handcuff him? What was his crime,” asked Crump before the mourners and guests. We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," said Crump. “America that means Andre Hill too. America that means Andre Hill’s life matters. America we will demand justice. For Andre Maurice Hill,” Crump said.

Attorney Ben Crump speaks at Andre Hill's memorial service on January 5, 2021. Hill was shot and killed three days before Christmas by a Columbus Police Officer. (WSYX/WTTE)

Hill’s sister Shawna Barnett remembered her brother as the life of the party, a comedian, the cook, and a music lover. “As a people we should not have to sacrifice our loved ones. We shouldn’t have to step every dayyday in fear not knowing or thinking that we will never return to see our loved ones or they won’t return to us,” Barnett said.

The Reverend Al Sharpton, with the National Action Network, asked why officer Coy was still on the force. “We are not against all police. We are against bad police but good police ought to be against bad police because they make you look bad,” said Sharpton.

Reverend Al Sharpton delivers the eulogy at Andre Hill's memorial service on January 5, 2021. Hill was shot and killed three days before Christmas by a Columbus Police Officer. (WSYX/WTTE)

“Andre’s blood is crying from the ground. And we are not going to accept excuses this time. Police are not above the law. You are subject to the law. You are supposed to enforce the law,” said Sharpton.

“Now we got to take this country where Andre Hill can walk down the street and not be killed by police. No more excuses. We need a generation of no excuses,” said Sharpton.

The family of Andre Hill speaks at Hill's memorial service on January 5, 2021. Hill was shot and killed three days before Christmas by a Columbus Police Officer. (WSYX/WTTE)

Hill’s grown daughter Karissa told the mourners, “he was my gentle giant. I called him my rock. He was my support. He was my best friend,” said Hill. “This is very sudden. A void in my heart I will never get back.”

First Church Bishop Timothy Clarke said “this city is better because Hill lived among us. And he should not have had to leave the way he left.”

Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin said “if we are our brother’s keeper, we as a community need justice for Andre. If we are our brother’s keeper we won’t turn a blind eye to these injustices against Black men and Black women.”

“We will honor him because he was Columbus. We will honor him because he was our brother. And we will honor him because his life mattered,” Hardin said.

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty said the Black Caucus salutes Hill and pledges to aggressively pursue a policy agency that aims to combat police misconduct.

“Today we may mourn the loss of Andre. But I just think of him wearing his Black Lives Matter tee shirt as a symbol of resistance to excessive force at the hands of the police,” said Beatty. “His life will be celebrated as a call for justice. His legacy upheld by all.”

This article was originally published by ABC 6 on January 5, 2021.