Ohio police release body camera video of officer fatally shooting unarmed black man waking up in bed ‘with vape pen’

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will determine whether police are criminally responsible for the death of a Columbus man who was lying in a bed this week before an officer woke him and shot him.

Columbus Officer Ricky Anderson, a K-9 leader, and other officials executed an arrest warrant for Donovan Lewis on Tuesday, August 30. Body cam shows Anderson opening the door to a bedroom where 20-year-old Lewis was sleeping and shooting him within about two seconds. Lewis was sitting up in bed and raising his head to look at the officers when he was shot at.

Columbus police officials said Lewis appeared to have raised his hand with something in it.

“There was something like a vape pen that was found on the bed right next to him,” Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said during a news conference 12 hours after Lewis’ early-morning shooting.

Officers were at the Columbus’ Sullivant Avenue apartment to arrest Lewis on pending warrants for domestic violence, assault and improper use of a firearm. Lewis was reportedly wanted for a negligent assault on his pregnant girlfriend.

Anderson is a 30-year veteran with the Columbus Division of Police. He held onto the police dog’s leash with one hand and shot straight into the room with the other hand. Where Lewis was struck is unclear.

Officers handcuffed Lewis shortly after the shot and carried him down three flights of stairs to render assistance while they waited for an emergency response team to arrive. Lewis was pronounced dead at 3:19 a.m. at a nearby hospital

Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther has promised “transparency, accountability and cooperation” from the police division and asked the public to be patient and show them mercy if they “uncover all the facts.”

Body-worn camera video shows officers knocking on the apartment door for more than nine minutes before a man opened it.

“I’m not Donovan,” the man calls through the door first.

Officers arrest the man and another who was lying on the couch before entering the apartment. They ask the other men if anyone else is in the apartment. The second man tells police he doesn’t know.

“We’ll send the dog in right away, if he doesn’t come out,” says an officer.

“We don’t know if anyone’s in there or not,” says the man.

“You know when someone is in an apartment where you are. He’s going to be bitten by a dog,” replies an officer.

One of the men tells officers that someone may be sleeping in the house.

About three minutes later, Henderson lets the dog into the apartment. The dog spots someone in a back bedroom. The team of officers then enter the house, with Anderson leading the way with the police dog. Anderson first opens a closet door. He then opens the bedroom door less than two seconds before firing the fatal shot.

“He has something in his hand,” says the officer with the body camera immediately. Again and again he screams: “Hands”.

A wounded Lewis moves around in bed and officers ask him to put his hands up and order him to “crawl” out of the room. Instead, Lewis continues to toss and turn in bed, moaning twice. The officers go into the room and handcuff the man, who is lying on his stomach on his side on the bed.

The Columbus policy requires the Ohio Bureau of Investigation to review every police-involved shooting in the city that results in death or injury, reports show. The boss said the public should “trust the process” and await the results of the investigation.

“We are committed to full transparency to share as much as we can as quickly as possible — and we are committed to holding officials accountable when wrongdoing occurs,” Bryant said. “As a boss, it’s my job to hold officers accountable, but it’s also my job to offer them support and I give them that throughout the process.”

“There’s a reason it’s under independent investigation,” she added. “It’s being thoroughly conducted and is an external investigation to ensure there is no bias. When (officials) do the right thing for the right reasons, we will support them. If they do something wrong, they will be held accountable.”

https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/09/01/ohio-to-investigate-deadly-columbus-police-shooting-of-unarmed-black-man-shot-in-his-bed/ Ohio police release body camera video of officer fatally shooting unarmed black man waking up in bed ‘with vape pen’

James Brien

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