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Church Leader Responds To $10 Million Andre Hill Settlement

Bishop Timothy Clarke of First Church of God in Columbus, right, calls for peaceful protests during a news conference Monday, April 19, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther is at left.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
/
AP
Bishop Timothy Clarke of First Church of God in Columbus, right, calls for peaceful protests during a news conference Monday, April 19, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther is at left.

Pastor of First Church of God Bishop Timothy Clarke says the $10 million city settlement with the family of Andre Hill can never replace him, but it does offer some benefit.

“It isn’t the amount of money because no money will bring those persons back,” said Bishop Timothy Clarke. “But what it does say is that the life of a black person does have value.”

Hill, a black man was shot and killed by fired Columbus Police Officer Adam Coy. Hill was standing in a friend’s garage and had a cellphone raised in his left hand. Coy did not turn on his body camera until after the shooting.

Clarke said his congregants are expressing their continued fear of violence from law enforcement. Since January 20, 2020, eight people have died at the hands of Columbus Police or Franklin County law enforcement officers.

“There’s much frustration and even a level of fear,” said Clarke. “And that fear is born out of the fact that very often we are not sure where we are safe and who we are safe among.”

Clarke’s church has been the venue for the funerals of several of the recent Black victims of police shootings in Columbus, including Hill.

Clarke said the power of love can overcome the power of evil, injustice and division.

He added that he expects the upcoming trial of Coy on charges of reckless homicide, murder, felonious assault, and dereliction of duty will result in a conviction. But he is aware there could also be a not guilty verdict.

“If it is rendered not guilty it won’t be the first time,” said Clarke. “We’ve learned how to live with it before, we’ll overcome it again.”