Black Man Killed In Bed By Police Was Treated Like An ‘Animal’, Lawyer Says

The lawyer for the family of Donovan Lewis said Ohio police treated the 20-year-old unarmed Black man like an “animal” when they shot and killed him while he was in bed, per NBC News. During a press conference on Thursday (September 1), family attorney Rex Elliott said body camera footage shows a Columbus officer disregarding Lewis’ humanity when he “recklessly” shot the 20-year-old within seconds of encountering him in bed.Elliot noted that Lewis was just waking up and following orders to get out of bed before he was killed by police.“The video shows a sickening reaction to me,” he said. “The video looks like they treated Donovan like an animal.The attorney condemned authorities for moving Lewis after he was shot, an action that might have worsened his gun wound.

“Instead, they grabbed him. There was no gun. They handcuffed him. They told him to crawl out of bed. They dragged him onto the floor. It was just terrible,” Elliott said.

Police released body camera video on Tuesday (Aug. 30) that showed the events leading up to the shooting, which occurred just before 2:30 a.m. while officers were serving an arrest warrant.

Video shows police knocking on an apartment’s front door before a man answers and is detained.

A second man standing at the entrance of the apartment was also taken into custody, per WCMH.

In the video, officers then make their way inside the apartment with a police dog.

The K9 later appears to be barking at a back bedroom door. Officer Ricky Anderson, who is handling the dog, proceeds to push the door open and, within moments, opens fire against Lewis.

Chief Elaine Bryant said Anderson pulled the trigger after the 20-year-old appeared to raise a hand that was holding something.

No weapon was found at the scene, but what seemed to be a “vape pen” was found “on the bed right next to” Lewis, Bryant noted.

However, Elliot disputed Bryant’s claims Thursday, saying the video did not appear to show Lewis holding anything in his hand.

During Thursday’s press conference, the lawyer also urged police to reconsider serving predawn warrants.

“First of all, I’d like to know why in the world they’re executing warrants at 2 o’clock in the morning?” he said. “The explanation by Chief Ryan, ‘Well, we do that because we have to be sure that they’re at home,’ is nonsense. The reality is that felony warrants are executed every day in daylight hours. There was absolutely no reason for this to have been served in the middle of the night like it was.”

Anderson, the 30-year-vet who fatally shot Lewis, was placed on paid leave, as the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigates the incident, police said.

Reading about Black trauma can have an impact on your mental health. If you or someone you know need immediate mental health help, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor. These additional resources are also available: 

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The National Alliance on Mental Illness 1-800-950-6264

The Association of Black Psychologists 1-301-449-3082

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America 1-240-485-1001

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