COLUMBUS, Ohio – The life of Andre Hill was commemorated Tuesday morning as family and lawmakers called for justice to be brought against the white Columbus police officer who fatally shot the 47-year-old days before Christmas.
“We don’t want your sympathy. We want justice,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said in delivering Hill's eulogy.
Dozens gathered at the First Church of God in the city’s southwest side — clad in their Sunday best and Black Lives Matter masks — to honor Hill’s life.
“We all want justice for Andre and change needs to come because, for Black people, we should not have to sacrifice our loved ones in order to be considered humans,” Hill’s sister Shawna Barrett said at the service.
Inside the church in Columbus, a photo of Hill surrounded by the faces of Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and the other Black people killed by authorities in recent years leaned against the stage next to his open casket. A white mark was taped on every other chair to facilitate social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sharpton saluted Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and other city officials for ordering the firing of Coy less than a week after he shot Hill. But he said it’s not enough.
“We cannot have a precedent that if you kill us, you just lose your job and keep living your life as you were,” Sharpton told mourners.
State Sen. Hearcel Craig greeted guests at the door. The Democratic lawmaker is a minister at the church where Hill’s service was taking place.