Columbus Police Kill Yet Another Black Man
(OH) – In the early hours of August 30, police officers, with the Columbus Police Department, went to pick up 20-year old Donovan Lewis for outstanding warrants. Lewis was in an apartment with two other friends. All of them were asleep. The police tried repeatedly to get someone to open the door. It took about nine minutes before one of the friends responded. Both friends appeared groggy. The one who opened the door was so out of it, he didn’t even have sense enough to get rid of the knife he had before opening the door.
When asked if anyone else was in the apartment, they were unclear in their answers. The two were cuffed and placed outside the apartment. The K-9 was sent in. He moved to a back bedroom door and began barking. The K-9 was leashed again and officers approached the door. One police officer calls out, “We’re going to send the dog in.” A moment later he calls out, “Hands.” The K-9 officer opens the bedroom door, Donovan begins to sit up in bed, and the officer shoots him. The shooting occurs in less than a second.
Criminal Investigation Into Shooting
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI) is looking into the shooting of Lewis…. Once finished, the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office will take the cases before a grand jury.
Facts: Donovan Lewis was unarmed. K-9 Officer Ricky Anderson shot Donovan within a second of opening the bedroom door.
Police Video Released
The video of the shooting has been released. There is no doubt that the officers made their presence known. But it is concerning that when the two friends of Donovan opened the door, they were so groggy. It was two in the morning and wouldn’t be surprising if the young men had drank themselves into a stupor. Or maybe they had been taking drugs. Whatever the case, they weren’t responding normally. It stood to reason that Donovan could be in the same condition, which could be why he wasn’t coming out.
Will the police use that delayed response as part of their justification? Will they say they were concerned the men were setting up some kind of ambush or something? Very possibly, but it won’t be their main justification.
I Thought He had a Gun
Their main strategy will focus on the vape pen found on the bed. We’ve heard it a thousand times, “I thought he had a gun.” The event happens so fast that it seems unlikely the police officer could have seen something in Donovan’s hands. I’ve watched the video several times and can’t tell. It is more likely that he is reacting to Donovan moving.
Before the bedroom door is even opened, I believe it’s the sergeant, who calls out “Hands.” It appears he’s calling out for Donovan to raise his hands. That means Donovan has to move in some way. After Donovan is shot, he says, “He, he’s got something in his hands. Something in his hands.” It may be cynical, but I’m starting to believe that in any police shooting the officers are saying that so they can point to what they said on the video as proof they thought the person was armed at the time.
Is There a Way to Keep Everyone Safe?
Nobody wants to die for their job. I can’t blame police officers for protecting themselves. That wouldn’t be a bad thing if their perception of when they were in danger wasn’t so arbitrary. You see white mass shooters taken into custody without a scratch. And then there are unarmed Black people killed in their beds. We have a problem.
This was a warrant team, just like in the Breonna Taylor shooting. Serving warrants is dangerous. So why don’t these teams require at least one person to have a bullet proof shield? The point person would have the shield and enter first. It would be even better if the shield could be fitted with halogen lights on the front. The lights would temporarily blind the occupants of a room while lighting up the area so officers could better observe what is happening. This would give them time to find out if any object the individual has is really a gun.
I know this wouldn’t do anything for the average officer on the street, but any help in lowering the senseless deaths would be worth it.
K-9 Officer Ricky Anderson
Officer Anderson is a 30-year veteran with the Columbus Police Department. He has been placed on leave pending the results of the investigation.
WARNING: DISTRESSING VIDEO
Because of the nature of the video, YouTube restricts this video. Just click on it and it will toss you over to their site to watch it. The officers begin approaching the bedroom door at the 15 minute 40 second mark.