COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Since finding out former Columbus police officer Adam Coy was indicted, Andre Hill’s family and legal team have reiterated the indictment is just a first step.
“We know that indictment does not mean conviction and we will stay vigilant and focused and passionate and convicted until we get a conviction,” said Attorney Ben Crump.
Breaking down what led to the indictment of Adam Coy
They know in previous incidents where officers have used deadly force, indictments have not always led to convictions.
History shows convictions can be tough. Dr. Philip Stinson is a criminal justice professor at Bowling Green State University and has been collecting data related to criminal cases involving police since 2005. He says since then about 130 officers nationwide have been charged with murder or manslaughter from an on-duty shooting.
“When an officer is charged, that in and of itself is a very rare event but it’s very difficult for prosecutors to obtain convictions in these cases.,” said Dr. Stinson.
He says one of the reasons it’s so difficult is because it’s hard to get jurors to question an officers’ on the job judgement.
“It’s very difficult because jurors and even judges in bench trials where they’re sitting in lieu of a jury are just very reluctant to second guess officers and convict them in these cases,” he said.
Coy is charged with murder, felonious assault, and two counts of dereliction of duty.
“Based upon what I know right now I would say those charges seem reasonable,” said Dr. Marc Clauson, Professor of History and Law at Cedarville University.
He says out of the four charges, murder will be hardest to prove beyond a reasonable dough.
“That’s probably the toughest, it always is,” he said. “The prosecution is going to have a tough time, but it’s not an unreasonable charge, I’m just saying it’s up to the jury to decide that.”