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Great Lakes water surge eases after 2 record-setting years

By JOHN FLESHER AP Environmental Writer
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A spell of dry, mild weather is giving the Great Lakes a break after two years of high water that has shattered records and heavily damaged shoreline roads and homes, officials said Monday.
Although still above normal, the lakes have dropped steadily since last fall and are expected to remain below 2020 levels for most of this year, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers forecast.
“Over the next six months, the worst is behind us,” said John Allis, chief of Great Lakes hydrology for the Corps’ Detroit district. “We really shouldn’t be seeing anywhere near the record highs that we saw last year.”
But officials cautioned that it’s too early to declare an end to the high-water period.
Levels fluctuate reliably with the seasons each year. But long-term trends that can bring extreme, prolonged surges or drop-offs depend on factors such as rain and snow, temperatures and evaporation rates, which are hard to predict.
“Certainly there’s a suggestion based on the recent past that precipitation will go back up again,” said Jeff Andresen, the Michigan state climatologist. “So it’s something we’ll just have to be aware of and be prepared.”
A decline that began in the late 1990s, bottoming out in early 2013, gave way to a rapid climb that has eroded shorelines and hammered infrastructure across the region. Records were shattered on all five lakes.
An organization representing coastal cities and towns conservatively estimated damages at over $500 million.
Scientists say the warming global climate may produce more abrupt swings in the future. But for now, it appears the region will get some relief.
The weather was milder and drier than usual from November through April, with winter snowfall was well below normal. Aside from a February cold snap, the lakes had relatively little ice cover. Low humidity and sunny skies boosted evaporation.
“This is one of the drier years we’ve seen in some time,” with large portions of the region considered in a moderate drought, Andresen said.
Each of the lakes was down significantly in April from the same month in 2020. Lake Ontario dropped 28 inches (71 centimeters), while Lakes Huron and Michigan — which are connected and have the same level — declined 14 inches (35.5 centimeters). Lake Erie fell 17 inches (43.2 centimeters) and Lake Superior 6 inches (15.2 centimeters).
While levels will experience their usual spring and summer rise, it began late and won’t pack the same punch as during the previous two years, Allis said.
But the effects linger, as residents and governments deal with environmental and infrastructure damage and debate the wisdom of hasty measures to protect shoreline property, particularly construction of breakwalls and jetties that steer waters and sediments elsewhere.
“What’s happening upshore may have an impact downshore,” said Brandon Krumwiede, a physical scientist in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s coastal management office.

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GOP bill would extend vouchers to all Ohio schoolchildren

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — All Ohio schoolchildren would be eligible for state vouchers to put toward private school tuition under a new GOP-backed bill in the state General Assembly.
The legislation was inspired partly by the coronavirus pandemic and the experience of parents who saw some schools halt in-person learning to slow the spread of COVID-19, Rep. Marilyn John, a Shelby Republican, told Gongwer News Service.
“The vision is really to provide greater choice for students and parents,” she said of the concept known as “backpack” funding because money follows children no matter what school they attend.
The legislation would dramatically expand Ohio’s voucher system, which currently targets children in underperforming schools and provides vouchers of about $4,500 for elementary and middle school children and $6,000 for high schoolers.
The two-page legislation introduced by John and Rep. Riordan McClain, a Republican from Upper Sandusky, was meant to spark discussion and so has few details for now, its sponsors said.
The proposal comes as Ohio lawmakers are considering changing how the state funds education to address disparities between poor and rich districts.
Ohio groups supporting vouchers, such as the Center for Christian Virtue, praised the proposal. But public school advocates, including the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, called it an attempt to undermine traditional public schools.
GOP Senate President Matt Huffman, a voucher supporter, questioned whether the concept would work in Ohio, which already has many options for students to attend different schools.

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‘Last hurrah’: 2020 college grads finally get ceremonies

By KANTELE FRANKO Associated Press
WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — After she was picked as commencement speaker for fellow 2020 graduates at Otterbein University, Katie Exline considered focusing her speech on perspective. By the time she finally got to deliver it in front of them this month, they already had some of that.
“I don’t need to tell you all about the incredible things we are going to do or the ways that we will grow during our careers, because we have already started that process,” Exline, fresh off her first year of optometry studies at another university, said during the socially distanced ceremony at the small Ohio school. “This past year has been filled with uncertainties and situations far beyond anything I would have even dreamed of writing in a speech for the spring of 2020.”
Like Otterbein, scores of campuses around the U.S. are offering last year’s graduates a chance to experience the in-person commencements they missed out on when the pandemic upended life. Some are inviting them to join in festivities for the Class of 2021. Others are hosting separate commencements for them this spring or special events later this year.
“We definitely wanted to honor that 2020 just had a heck of a senior year, and we wanted to try to acknowledge that in a positive way,” said Sarah Fatherly, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at North Carolina’s Queens University of Charlotte, which had its belated ceremony at a baseball stadium in early May.
Class president Juan Diego Mazuera Arias was disappointed to not have Queens’ traditional pomp and circumstance last spring. But he tried not to show it, he said, because his immigrant parents were so excited about watching their Colombian-born son, now a legal resident seeking U.S. citizenship, become the first in their family to graduate college.
“This in-person graduation means the absolute world to them,” said Mazuera Arias, who studied political science and has been working in Washington. “They, in a way, get to see all their hard work being paid off through me.”
The potential for commencement to be a transformative moment also factored in for planners at Owens Community College in Ohio, which decided 2020 graduates could join its May ceremony. Hunter Augustyniak, of Toledo, is eager for that celebratory closure after an anti-climactic ending with virtual classes and an internship that fell apart because of the pandemic.
“Coming from somebody who like literally dropped out of high school, never intended on going to college, first-generation student who is surrounded by college dropouts, it really did mean a lot to me,” said Augustyniak, who studied music business technology.
Some young adults already made transitions to jobs or other endeavors or just aren’t interested in having a ceremony now. But it’s clear a significant number find it fun and meaningful, said Jacob Lockhart, the 2020 class president at the University of Idaho.
“I still think that feeling of completion is what a lot of folks were longing for,” Lockhart said.
Skylar Smith, of Los Angeles, is traveling all the way from California back to Washington D.C. to attend Howard University’s commencement for 2020 grads. Smith, now training for a job in medical device sales, said it’s worth the trip to “get that last hurrah” with friends from school and from her swim team.
The University of Missouri had multiple ceremonies for its 2020 alumni, honoring a few hundred at a time in its arena. Texas A&M brought 2020 grads back to its football stadium for a celebration.
Many of the schools hosting graduations are limiting or excluding guests, staying outdoors, requiring masks and social distancing, and skipping the handshakes or the stage crossings altogether. Plenty more campuses are forgoing traditional commencements again this year because of coronavirus concerns, opting instead for virtual or alternative celebrations.
At Sacramento State’s “CARmencement,” 2020 and 2021 degree recipients will get to decorate their vehicles and drive through campus with guests, being cheered by faculty and staff at designated spots along the route. Several other schools scheduled drive-in graduations or staggered solo opportunities for graduates to walk across a stage and get their photo taken.
Still others are promising opportunities for in-person acknowledgement this summer, during homecoming weekends this fall, or further down the line. The University of Michigan invited 2020 and 2021 graduates to return for one of its future commencements, promising they’d be recognized for not only their academic accomplishments but “their resilience and fortitude in persevering during these challenging times.”
Abigail Barrett of Swanton, Ohio, is grateful she doesn’t have to wait any longer to mark earning her associate’s degree last year. Barrett, 17, took classes at Owens Community College through a program that lets teens earn high school and college credits simultaneously. Despite the pandemic delay, she said she’ll still get to enjoy her Owens commencement even before she gets her high school diploma later in May.
“Definitely assume I’m smiling big under that mask,” she said.
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Follow Franko on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kantele10.

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Sheriff: Detective serving search warrant shot armed person

FAIRFIELD, Ohio (AP) — A detective with an Ohio county sheriff’s office shot a person armed with a handgun, but the person is expected to survive, authorities said.
The Butler County sheriff’s office said detectives were serving a search warrant at a Ross Township residence at about 12:30 p.m. Monday and encountered a man who authorities allege pointed a handgun at them.
Officials said a detective fired his weapon, hitting the person in the chest. Detectives and a life squad called to the scene administered life-saving measures and the person was taken to Fort Hamilton Hughes Hospital with injuries said not to be life-threatening, authorities said.
Sheriff Richard Jones said the person was told to drop the weapon and did not do so. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will investigate.

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Treasury sends $12B in COVID-19 relief to Ohio governments

By JULIE CARR SMYTH Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Treasury Department on Monday said Ohio will receive nearly $5.4 billion in aid as part of Democratic President Joe Biden’s larger $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, with another nearly $6.6 billion going directly to counties, cities and townships.
Thirty-seven Ohio cities and townships and all 88 counties will receive the payments, part of the $350 billion program created under the American Rescue Plan to help state and local governments and boost the U.S. national economy that’s been hard hit by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
State and local governments can use the money for relief from the public health crisis. The money also can be used to offset harm to workers, small businesses and affected industries, to invest in water, sewer and broadband systems and to replace lost public sector revenue, according to guidance the Treasury Department released along with the figures. Essential workers also can qualify for premium pay under the program.
What officials can’t do with the money is use it to cut taxes, pay down debt or bolster the state rainy day fund.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, called Treasury’s directives on how the money should be used akin to “fantasy fiction.”
Because Ohio’s unemployment rate is not significantly higher than its pre-pandemic level, the state is eligible to receive just half of its $5.4 billion allotment immediately, with the rest being provided one year later. Those states where unemployment rose significantly will get their full allotment right away.
Cleveland will receive $511 million under the program, with its home county, Cuyahoga, receiving another $240 million. Columbus will receive $187 million, while Franklin County, where it sits, will receive about $256 million. The figures for Cincinnati and Hamilton County are $280 million and $159 million, respectively.
Local governments can expect to receive funds in two batches, half coming this month and the rest a year from now.
Ohio Townships Association Executive Director Heidi Fought said only three of Ohio’s 1,308 townships received the recovery money, putting them at a disadvantage. They will urge government entities that did receive the funding to transfer some to cover services and programs for their roughly 4 million residents, she said.
Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has recommended to the state Legislature that Ohio use a portion of its COVID relief dollars to pay off the unemployment compensation insurance loan the state owes to the federal government.
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce has said paying the loan balance and shoring up the state’s unemployment trust fund would prevent an estimated tax increase on employers next year of more than $100 million and save businesses nearly $660 million over three years.
Under Treasury guidelines, states can use the federal money to replenish their unemployment insurance trust funds up to pre-pandemic levels.
News of the federal allotment came as the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced plans to resume weekly work-search requirements for those receiving unemployment benefits starting the week of May 23.
The federal government authorized states to waive the requirement from the middle of last March, at the height of the pandemic, through Dec. 1. On Dec. 6, Ohio resumed the requirement for new claims, but continued to waive it for existing ones.
DeWine said resuming the requirement “only makes sense” now that the COVID-19 vaccine is available, allowing people to safely return to work.
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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

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Columbus mayor requests federal probe of police force

By FARNOUSH AMIRI and ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS Report for America/Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — While Ohio’s capital city has made significant progress enacting changes to its police department, the city needs additional help because of “fierce opposition” to reform within the agency, city leaders said Wednesday as they requested a Justice Department investigation following a series of police killings of Black people and other controversies.
The request by Mayor Andrew Ginther and City Attorney Zach Klein — both Democrats — capped several painful months for the city, culminating most recently with the April 20 fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant as she swung a knife at a woman. Bryant was Black and the rookie officer who shot her was white.
Criticism has included not just fatal police shootings but also the department’s reaction to last summer’s protests over racial injustice and police brutality following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. A report commissioned by city council and released earlier this week criticized both the police department and city leaders, saying Columbus was unprepared for the size and energy of the protests.
“This is not about one particular officer, policy, or incident; rather, this is about reforming the entire institution of policing in Columbus,” Ginther and Klein said in Wednesday’s letter. “Simply put: We need to change the culture of the Columbus Division of Police.”
It’s not unusual for mayors or local law enforcement leaders to ask the Justice Department to review an agency’s record. Those requests sometimes are made when city officials anticipate a federal probe is looming regardless of their wishes.
When the Justice Department does launch such a review, city officials can do little to stop it, so they generally welcome the investigations, at least in public. The mayors of Minneapolis and Louisville, Kentucky, quickly endorsed the reviews the Justice Department recently announced of those cities’ police departments following the killings of Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
It’s likely that the recent police killings in Columbus combined with the mayor’s push for changes would make the city’s request appealing to the Justice Department, said Ayesha Hardaway, a Case Western Reserve University criminal law professor.
“I imagine that Columbus will be considered a good opportunity to make lasting change,” said Hardaway, who has worked with Cleveland’s police department in the wake of Justice Department involvement after the 2014 shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
A message was left with the Justice Department seeking comment.
The request by Columbus leaders came the same day that the attorney representing the family of Bryant requested a federal investigation into her death and the state’s foster care system.
Columbus remains an outlier among other American cities under Justice Department scrutiny, with multiple initiatives launched over the last few years to address complaints about the police department, pushed by Ginther and the city’s all-Democratic city council.
In 2016, shortly after Ginther took office, the city spent millions of dollars to buy police body cameras for the first time and is now in the process of spending millions more to upgrade them. The city recently created its first-ever civilian review board in a 2020 voter-approved measure pushed by Ginther and the city council.
Despite these efforts, “the City has been met with fierce opposition from leadership within the Columbus Division of Police,” Wednesday’s letter said, which also suggested the Justice Department could use court-ordered measures to force the local police union to comply with changes.
Columbus officers “are always willing to work with any entity to improve policing in the communities they protect and serve,” Jeff Simpson, executive vice president of the local union, said in a statement. “Politicians constantly vilifying officers breeds contempt for authority, emboldens the criminal element and has led to a mass exodus of law enforcement officers from the profession.”
Even with its initiatives, Columbus — the country’s 14th largest city — has recorded a number of contested police shootings.
The most recent cases include Bryant, the April 12 killing of 27-year-old Miles Jackson in a hospital ER room, and 47-year-old Andre Hill. The white police officer who fatally shot Hill Dec. 22 has pleaded not guilty to a number of charges made against him by the state’s attorney general’s office.
The case of Casey Goodson Jr., a 23-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy in early December in Columbus, has widened criticism of policing in the city to include the county sheriff’s office.
In January, interim Columbus Chief Thomas Quinlan was forced out after Ginther said he’d lost confidence in the chief’s ability to make needed changes to the department.
Before the recent police shootings, the city was sued over the 2016 shooting of Henry Green, a Black man, by two undercover white police officers working in an anti-crime summer initiative.
Later in the same year, a white officer fatally shot 13-year-old Tyre King, who was Black, during a robbery investigation. In 2017, a video showed a Columbus officer restraining a Black man lying on the ground and preparing to handcuff him when an officer — Zachary Rosen — who was also involved in the Green shooting arrived and appeared to kick the man in the head.
The city fired Rosen, but an arbitrator ordered him reinstated, angering many in the community while underscoring the challenge that police union contracts can pose for cities trying to hold officers accountable.
Records show that Black residents, about 28% of the Columbus population, accounted for about half of all use-of-force incidents from 2015 through 2019.
The agency — like many big-city departments — is juggling calls for internal change even as it battles street violence. Columbus saw a record 174 homicides in 2020 and has recorded 62 so far this year, a figure not reached until early July of last year.
Federal involvement in the Columbus police department over allegations of officer misconduct isn’t new.
In 1999, the Justice Department sued the city, accusing officers of routinely violating people’s civil rights through illegal searches, false arrests and excessive force. A year later, the government added a racial profiling complaint, alleging that from 1994 to 1999, Black people in Columbus were almost three times as likely as whites to be the subject of traffic stops in which one or more tickets were issued.
A federal judge in 2002 dismissed the lawsuit after the city, which had fought it, made changes on the use of police force and handling of complaints against officers.
In Wednesday’s letter, Ginther pledged to give the Justice Department the city’s full cooperation if the agency agrees to take on the review.
“We want to be partners with the DOJ to bring about meaningful, sustainable and significant reforms,” he wrote. “Not only is the elected leadership in the City of Columbus aligned with this request, but the residents of Columbus unquestionably share the same goal.”
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The story has been corrected to show that voters approved the civilian review board in November 2020, not 2019.
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Farnoush Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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White farmers sue seeking government loan forgiveness

By TODD RICHMOND Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A group of Midwestern farmers sued the federal government Thursday alleging they can’t participate in a COVID-19 loan forgiveness program because they’re white.
The group of plaintiffs includes farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and Ohio. According to the lawsuit, the Biden administration’s COVID-19 stimulus plan provides $4 billion to forgive loans for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers who are Black, American Indian, Hispanic, Alaskan native, Asian American or Pacific Islander.
White farmers aren’t eligible, amounting to a violation of the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights, the lawsuit contends.
“Were plaintiffs eligible for the loan forgiveness benefit, they would have the opportunity to make additional investments in their property, expand their farms, purchase equipment and supplies, and otherwise support their families and local communities,” the lawsuit said. “Because plaintiffs are ineligible to even apply for the program solely due to their race, they have been denied the equal protection of the law and therefore suffered harm.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a statement saying the department was reviewing the lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice, but the agency plans to continue to offer loan forgiveness to “socially disadvantaged” farmers.
Attorneys for the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the action on the white farmers’ behalf in federal court in Green Bay.
The filing seeks a court order prohibiting the USDA from applying racial classifications when determining eligibility for loan modifications and payments under the stimulus plan. It also seeks unspecified damages.
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Follow Todd Richmond on Twitter at https://twitter.com/trichmond1

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Slain girl’s grandmother wants caseworkers deemed ‘reckless’

By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The grandmother of a 2-year-old girl who was beaten and starved to death wants to file a wrongful death lawsuit against three caseworkers who oversaw the girl’s care, and has taken her case to the Ohio Supreme Court.
During oral arguments Wednesday, justices questioned the responsibility the state’s children’s service agency has for protecting children as its caseworkers investigate allegations of abuse.
The child prompting the case, Glenara Bates, weighed under 14 pounds — almost half the recommended weight for a 2-year-old girl—when she died in March 2015, and Hamilton County authorities said she was beaten by her parents, with visible belt and bite marks among other injuries.
Her father, Glen Bates, was sentenced to death the following year, but his conviction and sentence were later overturned after the state high court said a juror who made racially biased comments on a jury questionnaire should not have been seated in the trial of Bates, who is Black. A new trial is scheduled for January.
The girl’s mother was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
After Glenara’s death, the girl’s maternal grandmother, Desena Bradley, sued three Hamilton County caseworkers, saying they missed obvious signs of abuse. Three weeks after caseworkers declared the girl “happy and healthy” during a March 2015 visit, she was dead, according to Desena Bradley’s complaint in the Ohio Supreme Court.
“According to the coroner, Glenara had been brutalized for months on end before her death,” Rachel Bloomekatz, an attorney representing the grandmother, said in a November court filing. “But somehow, Glenara’s bruises, scars, bite marks, whip marks, and gaunt, under-fed body completely eluded the caseworkers.”
State law provides case workers immunity from such lawsuits unless they were found to have acted “in a wanton or reckless manner.” Lower courts rejected the grandmother’s claims, saying she hadn’t provided enough evidence that the immunity should be lifted.
Desena Bradley appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, which held oral arguments Wednesday. A decision isn’t expected for months. It’s unclear from court records whether Desena Bradley stepped in on behalf of her granddaughter when she was alive.
Hamilton County officials wants the high court to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the girl was killed by her parents and not by county workers. There’s no evidence the caseworkers acted maliciously or in bad faith, county attorneys said.
“Instead, a 20/20 hindsight analysis is employed, which is based on mere speculation that these caseworkers were aware that Glenara was being physically abused and with improper intent failed to intervene,” Hamilton County assistant prosecutors argued in a December court filing.
If such lawsuits are successful, caseworkers in the future would protect themselves by downplaying parental rights and removing children from their homes every time an abuse allegation was investigated, Hamilton County officials argued.
On Wednesday, Justice Jennifer Brunner asked the attorney representing Hamilton County the extent of the agency’s responsibility.
Isn’t there a duty of any children service’s agency “to identify when a child is in danger? Isn’t that kind of a public duty?” Brunner said. “Isn’t that one of the reasons the agencies exist?”
Atty. Pamela Sears agreed with the justice, but also said Ohio law doesn’t extend that duty to an investigation of abuse as opposed to the agency having control of a child in the form of a foster home placement or emergency removal.
“Although there is a duty to investigate, I don’t think that the statute then parleys that into a general duty to protect during that investigation,” she said.
“So there’s a mandatory duty to report, but no duty to do anything about it?” Justice Michael Donnelly asked.
“This court has held that there’s no liability for failure to investigate,” Sears said.

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Officer pleads not guilty to new charge in Andre Hill case

By FARNOUSH AMIRI Report for America/Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The fired Ohio police officer accused of killing Andre Hill pleaded not guilty Wednesday to an additional criminal charge on the same day that prosecutors dropped two misdemeanor charges of dereliction of duty.
Adam Coy, a former Columbus police officer who is white, was indicted in February on murder, felonious assault and dereliction of duty—for failing to turn on his body camera—in the death of Hill, a 47-year-old Black man. Columbus officials cited incompetence and “gross neglect of duty” when the officer was fired less than a week after the Dec. 22 shooting.
Coy was arraigned Wednesday after a grand jury last week added a criminal charge of reckless homicide against him for the fatal shooting of Hill. Coy remains free on bond.
Coy’s attorneys successfully argued the officer didn’t violate any duty because he was on a non-emergency run that didn’t require the cameras to be activated. However, an automatic “look back” feature captured 60 seconds of the shooting without audio.
Coy, a 19-year veteran of the force, had responded the night of the shooting to a call about a vehicle parked on the street.
Upon arriving at the home, Coy’s bodycam showed Hill emerging from a garage and holding up a cellphone in his left hand. Another officer who arrived at the scene told internal affairs detectives that Coy yelled, “There’s a gun in his hand,” before firing at Hill.
Police found no gun at the scene.
Defense attorney Mark Collins said dropping the dereliction of duty charges was appropriate.
“In order to have a dereliction of duty, you have to have a lawful duty in place,” Collins said.
Collins also said the defense was pleased that the new criminal charge of reckless homicide is a lesser charge than murder.
Coy made an honest mistake, Collins said. The officer believed Hill — who was raising a cell phone with his left hand — was holding a silver gun in his right hand, Collins said.
“Based on the totality of the situation, we believe that he was justified in using that type of force,” Collins said.
The Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting the case, didn’t explain the reasoning for dropping the two charges.
“Our case is sound and based on the facts and we are prepared to move forward with the trial,” Anthony Pierson, Senior Assistant Attorney General, said in a statement.
Wednesday’s hearing was the first time Coy was present in court since being released on bail. The longtime former officer was quiet, only speaking when the judge asked him if he understood why the charges were dropped.
Also Wednesday, Columbus released the names of 34 applicants to become the city’s next police chief. Mayor Andrew Ginther has repeatedly said the new leader must be a “change agent” hired from outside the department, a first for Columbus.
Among the applicants is Perry Tarrant, a former assistant police chief in Seattle and one of two finalists for the position in 2019, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
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Associated Press writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus contributed to this report. Farnoush Amiri is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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Charges ranging from hazing to involuntary manslaughter brought against 8 in death of Ohio student after frat party

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) — Charges ranging from hazing to involuntary manslaughter brought against 8 in death of Ohio student after frat party.