Columbus police criticized over fatal shooting of young unarmed Black man

Body camera footage released by authorities shows an officer opening the door to Donovan Lewis’ bedroom in the middle of the night and killing him a second later

Body camera footage from August 30, 2022.

A lawyer representing the family of Donovan Lewis, a 20-year-old Black man who was shot by a police officer on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, criticized the police force and asked for structural changes.

“How many more lives are going to be lost to this type of reckless activity? How many more young Black lives will be lost?” said Rex Elliott at a local news conference.

Lewis was lying in bed inside his apartment at 2.30am when a police officer opened the door to his bedroom without knocking, and shot him dead a second later.

Columbus police have released body camera footage showing that the officer did not give the man time to react. Lewis was unarmed and did not make any threatening gestures: he only slightly raised an arm.

The footage shows officers knocking on the door of the apartment, where they had gone to arrest him on warrants of domestic violence, assault and a felony charge of improper handling of a firearm. Officials said they knocked for eight to 10 minutes.

Two men eventually came out who, after being handcuffed, warned that more people were sleeping inside. The police sent in a trained dog to detect the presence of more individuals. The video shows the dog barking repeatedly outside Lewis’ bedroom.

“We are committed to full transparency and sharing as much information as possible as quickly as possible regarding the tragic death of Donovan Lewis. That is why we have released the body camera footage and arrest warrant details approximately 12 hours after the incident,” tweeted Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther.

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