Body-Cam Captures Columbus Cop Ricky Anderson Shooting Unarmed Man Donovan Lewis in Bed

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The Columbus Division of Police released body camera images late Tuesday showing the deadly shooting of 20-year-old Donovan Lewis, who was killed while still in bed and possibly holding a vape pen.

Authorities say officers attempted to issue a warrant at an apartment on Sullivant Avenue around 2:28 a.m. Tuesday. Body-camera footage shows Lewis being shot just seconds after several officers entered his second-floor apartment, and less than a second after officers burst open his bedroom door. Lewis had raised one hand when Officer Ricky Anderson, who had a K-9, opened fire. The footage shows officers handcuffing an injured Lewis before providing assistance.

Lewis was pronounced dead at a local hospital around 3:19 a.m. and no weapons were found in the apartment.

“There was such a thing as a vape pen that was found right next to him on the bed,” Columbus Chief Elaine Bryant said at a press conference on Tuesday. “Donovan Lewis lost his life. As a parent, you know, I sympathize and grieve with his mother. As a community, I grieve with our community, but we’re letting this investigation take place.”

Court records show that officers attempted to issue warrants for mishandling of a firearm, assault and domestic violence. Bryant said Anderson, who has served for 30 years and is in the Canine Unit, has been placed on leave pending an investigation into the shooting.

A lawyer representing Lewis’s family promised to “get justice” and asked for community support for the family of the 20-year-old whom he described as a “son, grandson, brother and friend”.

“As a result of this completely reckless behavior by a Columbus police officer, a family must mourn the loss of such a young soul,” said Columbus attorney Rex Elliott. “Frame by frame, the video reveals the truth: Three white officers, accompanied by an aggressive K9 dog, shot an unarmed 20-year-old… as he sat up in his bed in accordance with police orders.”

Lewis’ relatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The incident marks the latest example of a search warrant execution that has turned deadly. In February, Minneapolis police officers fatally shot 22-year-old Amir Locke in an apartment shortly after entering with a no-knock warrant for a case unrelated to him. In March 2020, Louisville subway police officers fatally shot Breonna Taylor while executing a similar search warrant in an investigation into 26-year-old EMT’s ex-boyfriend.

Unlike Locke and Taylor’s recordings, body-camera footage from the moments leading up to Lewis’ death shows officers knocking on a door for at least eight minutes, announcing themselves as law enforcement officers before two men open the door. The men were immediately detained by police when the Columbus Canine Unit began to evacuate the apartment.

Seconds later, a dog is seen barking in a rear bedroom, prompting Anderson to leash the K-9 and push open the door.

“We’re going to send that dog in,” a cop is heard saying just before Anderson pushes open the door. The light from another officer’s gun shines on Lewis as another officer yells, “Hands!”

Less than a second later, Anderson sees a shot fire at Lewis as he begins to sit up in a bed shoved into the back corner of the room. The footage shows Lewis raising his right hand to the officers while his left hand is still near the pillow.

After the shooting, footage shows an officer shouting “hands” repeatedly before twice demanding Lewis “crawl over here”. Lewis, however, remains bent over on the bed. Finally, officers enter the room and tell an injured Lewis to put his hands behind his back before finally handcuffing him.

An officer is heard telling Lewis to stop resisting. Another video shows the handcuffed man being carried out of the apartment. Only then does Lewis get medical help.

“We’re committed to complete transparency, to sharing as much as we can and as quickly as we can — and we’re committed to holding officers accountable if something went wrong,” Bryant said Tuesday. “As a chief, my job is to hold officers accountable, but it’s also my job to support them and I give that to them through the process.”

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has also opened an investigation into Lewis’s death, which is just the latest fatal police shooting of a person of color in the state capital. Two years ago, a Columbus police officer shot and killed unarmed 23-year-old Andre Hill in the garage of a home he was visiting. The same authorities shot and killed 16-year-old Ma’khia Bryant after she appeared to lunge at someone with a knife during a neighborhood fight.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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