On Wednesday (Aug. 31), Columbus, Ohio police released bodycam footage of an officer shooting an unarmed Black man to death in his bed. 20-year-old Donovan Lewis was shot early Tuesday morning (Aug. 30) by an officer who was serving him an arrest warrant, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
The video shows Columbus K-9 officer Ricky Anderson and other officers searching for Lewis in a second-floor apartment of a three-story building. As Anderson approaches Lewis’ bedroom, another officer warns the young man that they will send the K-9 into the room with him. The bodycam footage shows Anderson opening the door and shooting the unarmed Black man as he sat up in bed. It was later confirmed that a vape pen was found near his body. Per the warrants, Lewis has been accused of domestic violence, assault, and improper handling of a firearm.
A wounded Lewis was carried out of the apartment with his hands cuffed behind his back. The officers can be seen applying a trauma bandage to the unarmed man and performing CPR on him. Lewis was taken to Ohio Health Grant Medical Center, where he would succumb to his injuries at 3:19 a.m. The Columbus Dispatch reports that the shooting was the third police shooting in the past eight days. However, it was the first shooting to end with a fatality.
Rex Elliott, the Lewis family attorney, addressed reporters on Thursday (Sept. 1), speaking on the shooting and his family’s grief. “These are the faces of just a few of the many people that have had their lives altered forever,” he said.
Elliott expressed the negligence of the officers’ actions and demanded a change. “Donovan was asleep before police officers arrived and had no warning,” Elliott stated. “Officer Anderson opened the door and almost immediately fired a shot into the bedroom as Donovan was trying to get out of the bed. Ask yourself why the police officer who had the clearest view did not discharge his weapon,” he asked.
The full press conference can be viewed below: