Donovan Lewis, a 20-year-old Columbus, Ohio man, was shot and killed by police attempting to serve a warrant. It was the third officer-related shooting in Columbus in the past eight days.
As reported by The Columbus Dispatch, Donovan Lewis was wanted for outstanding warrants and his garden apartment home became the target of a raid in the city’s Hilltop neighborhood early Tuesday (August 30) morning. Lewis had warrants out for domestic violence, assault, and felony improper handling of a firearm.
Bodycam footage shows officers entering the apartment of Lewis alongside a K-9 unit. Based on the footage, it appeared that Lewis was asleep and the noise from the officers startled him. Further, he did not appear to be armed and as the outlet notes, Lewis was holding what is thought to be an e-cig or vape pen. Lewis was shot in the abdomen and rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.
The Ohio Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the shooting matter. Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant offered a statement of both assurances and support for the officers.
“We’re committed to full transparency to sharing as much as we can as quickly as we are able do so — and we’re committed to holding officers accountable if there was any wrongdoing,” Chief Bryant said. “As the chief, it is my job to hold officers accountable, but it is also my job to offer them support and that I give that to them through the process.”
On Twitter, some are outraged by the shooting death of Donovan Lewis and made mention that Columbus police have lawlessly abused their power in times past. We’ve got some of those reactions listed out below.
Hip-Hop Wired received a statement from Rex Elliott, attorney for the family of Donovan Lewis.
The bodycam footage released yesterday afternoon says it all. In literally the blink of an eye, a Columbus Police Officer shot and killed Donovan Lewis, an unarmed young black man who was alone in his bed in the middle of the night. As a result of this entirely reckless behavior by a Columbus Police Officer, a family is left to grieve the loss of such a young soul. There have been three police-involved shootings in Columbus in the last eight days, with the last killing Donovan. Frame by frame, the video reveals the truth—three white officers accompanied by an aggressive K9 dog shot an unarmed 20-year-old in cold blood as he sat up in his bed in compliance with police commands. This excessive and completely unnecessary force has become all too common in Columbus. Rest assured, we will get justice for Donovan and do everything in our power to stop these senseless killings. There cannot be one more young black life taken this way. Donovan’s family asks for peaceful support and doesn’t want anyone to repeat the violence CPD showed two nights ago when they killed a son, grandson, brother and friend.
In addition to releasing the statement, the family of Lewis announced plans for a press conference at the Sheraton Capital Square in Downtown Columbus at 1 p.m. EST. The address for the conference is 75 E State St, Columbus, OH 43215. The press conference will not be streamed publicly as of this writing.
Photo: Family Handout