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Columbus police chief forced to resign after fatal shooting of Andre Hill

The mayor of Columbus said residents had “lost faith” in the chief after police shot and killed a Black man last month.

Protesters AFP via Getty Images

The police chief in Columbus, Ohio resigned on Thursday (Jan. 28) after the city’s mayor said residents had “lost faith” in him. The announcement arrives weeks after Columbus police shot and killed 47-year-old Black man Andre Maurice Hill.

“It became clear to me that [Police] Chief [Thomas] Quinlan could not successfully implement the reform and change I expect and that the community demands,” Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a statement. “Columbus residents have lost faith in him and in [the] division’s ability to change on its own.”

Quinlan, a white, 30-year veteran of the department, said on Thursday that he wanted to stay in the position but respected the mayor’s decision.

“We implemented dozens of reforms geared toward accountability, transparency and strengthening public trust,” he said. “Someone else will now carry those priorities forward and I will help and support them in any way I can.”

According to The Grio, Quinlan was promoted to police chief by Mayor Ginther back in December of 2019. Quinlan was chosen over Perry Tarrant, a Black former assistant police chief. At the time, Ginther said Quinlan would need to address concerns of racism within the department as its new chief. In announcing Quinlan’s removal, Ginther said Thursday that a nationwide search would be begin to seek out the department’s next chief.

Quinlan’s resignation follows about a month after white Columbus officer Adam Coy shot and killed Andre Hill, who had been standing in his garage. Coy was fired from the department after the shooting and at the request of community members who rallied together to demand justice for Hill.

It was later revealed that Coy had waited 10 minutes before offering Hill any kind of medical assistance after shooting him. Quinlan previously said that Hill would have survived the shooting if Coy had given him immediate medical attention. He later filed two criminal misconduct charges against the officer.

“We can’t effectively police if we don’t have the trust and the partnerships that we need to move forward, so we cannot tolerate any type of individual officer bringing discredit upon the division or policing as a profession,” he told the Associated Press earlier this month.

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