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Donovan family’s lawyers Louis Columbus tear up the ‘barbaric murder’ of an unarmed black man

The family of Donovan Lewis, the 20-year-old black man who was shot in bed Tuesday by a Columbus police officer while possibly holding an e-cigarette pen, are demanding answers and justice after the latest act of police brutality in a city with an ugly history. .

“He was treated like an animal,” Rex Elliott, an attorney for Columbus, who represents the family, said after showing body camera footage at a Thursday news conference. “There was no excuse – let me be clear – there was no excuse for the officer [Ricky] Anderson shoots an unarmed man trying to get out of bed as ordered by police officers.”

The Columbus Division of Police said that at approximately 2:28 a.m. Tuesday, officers attempted to execute a felony order at a second-floor apartment on Sullivant Street. Body camera footage released later that day showed that after arresting two other people in the apartment, the officers went into a back bedroom where Lewis was sleeping – and that he was shot about a second after opening the door. Lewis’ hand raised when Officer Ricky Anderson opened fire.

After one shot, the footage shows the officers handcuffing the wounded Louis and pulling him out of the apartment before providing assistance, once claiming that he is resisting. Lewis was pronounced dead at a local hospital around 3:19 AM, and no weapons were found in the apartment. “There was, like, a vape pen that was found on the bed right next to him,” Columbus President Elaine Bryant said at a press conference.

“Donovan was asleep before the officers arrived and he received no warning that CPD had broken into his apartment,” Elliott said.

Anderson, who has been on the force for 30 years and is in the canine unit, has been placed on leave pending an investigation into the shooting. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has also opened an investigation into Lewis’ death.

As Eliot stressed that there would be justice in this “foolish death,” the lawyer was surrounded by Lewis’s mother, father, brothers, and close friends.

However, the lawyer asked the press not to ask questions because the family was “focused on making plans to say goodbye to Donovan.” A family friend started a GoFundMe to help Lewis’ family with funeral costs.

The attorney also played full-body camera footage during the press conference, causing several members of the Lewis family to turn their heads and cover their ears.

“These are the faces of a few people whose lives were forever changed by the events of early Tuesday morning,” Elliott said, before police and city leaders called for an immediate reform of these “barbaric killings.” Columbus has hosted several fatal police shootings of people of color in recent years, including the murder of Andre Hill, an unarmed black man, in December 2020.

“It’s time to do something more drastic,” the lawyer added. “We cannot lose another child to a police officer recklessly shooting his rifle.”

Court records show that the officers were trying to serve Lewis with an injunction on charges of improper handling of a firearm, assault and domestic violence. According to an August 10 criminal complaint filed in Franklin County Municipal Court, Lewis’ girlfriend told police that she was pregnant with his child — and that the two had an argument in Westgate Park.

‘Louis pushed her off the chair she was sitting on, and then she rolled down a little hill,’ the complaint Obtained by WBSN countries, noting that when the police arrived at the scene, the friend said that “Louis assaulting her is something that happens a lot.” A complaint in April 2021 also shows that Lewis has been charged with domestic violence after he punched his mother when she wouldn’t let him into the house.

But on Tuesday, Lewis appeared to be fast asleep as Columbus officers knocked on an apartment door for eight minutes and declared themselves before two men opened. The men were immediately arrested by police when a dog with the Columbus Canine Unit began evacuating the apartment.

In body camera footage, a dog was seen barking in a back bedroom, indicating someone was in the house and prompting officers to ask anyone to leave the room. In the end, Anderson pushed the door to open it while another officer shouted, “Hand!”

Anderson is then seen firing a single shot into the room as Lewis begins to sit in bed and raises his hand toward the officers. After the shooting, one of the officers can be heard yelling on a bender at Lewis to “crawl in here” before finally entering the room and handcuffing. The officers were then seen carrying Louis out of the apartment before medical assistance was subsequently provided.

“How many lives will be lost due to this kind of reckless activity? How many black lives will be lost? How many families like Donovan will need to appear at press conferences like this before our leaders do enough to put an end to these barbaric killings?” Elliott said. .

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