Lawyer says Ohio police officer used ‘extreme lethal pressure’ when he fatally shot Donovan Lewis, 20, in his mattress.
Police within the US metropolis of Columbus, Ohio have come below heavy criticism after the discharge of body-worn digital camera footage exhibiting an officer fatally taking pictures a Black man in his mattress throughout an try and serve an arrest warrant.
Donovan Lewis, 20, was unarmed when he was shot within the early hours of Tuesday by Ricky Anderson, a 30-year veteran of the Columbus Division of Police, the Columbus Dispatch reported, citing a information convention by metropolis police.
Lower than a second handed between Anderson pushing open the bed room door as a police canine barked earlier than the officer fired a single shot into Lewis’ stomach, Police Chief Elaine Bryant advised reporters.
It appeared that Lewis had a vaping system in his hand, and no weapons have been discovered within the condominium, Bryant mentioned. Police had a warrant to arrest Lewis on expenses of home violence, assault and the improper dealing with of a firearm, the police chief additionally mentioned.
“In actually the blink of a watch, a Columbus Police Officer shot and killed Donovan Lewis, an unarmed younger black man who was alone in his mattress in the midst of the evening.”
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The incident is the most recent in a protracted string of unarmed Black individuals killed by police in the US, lots of which have spurred mass demonstrations demanding an finish to lethal police violence and racial injustice.
On Thursday, Rex Elliott, a lawyer representing the Lewis household mentioned not sufficient has occurred in Columbus to change policing practices regardless of a number of cases of white officers within the metropolis taking pictures Black individuals.
“There will be no query that extreme lethal pressure was recklessly utilized by officer Anderson when he shot and killed an unarmed Black man,” Elliott mentioned throughout a information convention.
“What number of extra lives are going to be misplaced to this kind of reckless exercise? What number of extra younger Black lives might be misplaced?” he mentioned. “What number of extra households like Donovan’s might want to seem at information conferences like this one earlier than our leaders do sufficient to place a cease to those barbaric killings?”
The US Division of Justice agreed in 2021 to evaluate Columbus police division practices after a collection of deadly police shootings of Black individuals — together with the April 2021 killing of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant — and town’s response to 2020 racial justice protests.
As well as, a three-year police contract authorised final yr offered $200,000 buyouts for as much as 100 officers with at the least 25 years of expertise, with a purpose of clearing the decks of workers who may not be on board with the division’s new path.
In the meantime, the Ohio Bureau of Investigation has mentioned it’ll examine Lewis’s killing.
The probe should have a look at “the totality of the circumstances”, Mark Collins, a lawyer representing Anderson, the officer who shot Lewis, mentioned on Thursday.
In such circumstances, “we’re expressly forbidden from utilizing 20/20 hindsight, as a result of in contrast to all of us, officers will not be afforded the luxurious of armchair reflection when they’re confronted with quickly evolving, unstable encounters in harmful conditions,” Collins mentioned.
In his remarks on Thursday, Elliott questioned the necessity for an early-morning operation. “The truth is that felony warrants are executed daily in daylight,” he mentioned, including that he plans to file a civil lawsuit towards Anderson and town.
In Could of final yr, Columbus reached a $10m settlement with the household of Andre Hill, a person who was shot useless in December 2020 as he emerged from a storage holding his cell phone. Officer Adam Coy has pleaded not responsible to homicide expenses and is about for trial in November.
In December, town additionally agreed to pay $5.75m to individuals injured throughout the 2020 racial justice and police brutality protests.