COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Loved ones of a young man who was shot and killed by Columbus police less than two weeks ago gathered to honor his life and lay him to rest Saturday.
Family, community members and even city leaders like Mayor Andrew Ginther and U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty gathered at the Christian Valley Missionary Baptist Church on the city’s east side to pay their respects to Donovan Lewis, an unarmed Black 20-year-old who was fatally shot by Columbus Division of Police officer Ricky Anderson, a 30-year member of the force, on Aug. 30.
Lewis’ mother, father, siblings and best friends shared stories about the impact the 20-year-old left on them. Daryl Lewis, Donovan’s father, said his son always put others first and never failed to help a person in need.
“He would always call and say, ‘How you doing, Dad?'” Daryl Lewis said. “I couldn’t even get out words before he would say ‘How you doing’ because it was always about somebody else.”
Lewis’ death sparked the community to call for change – and his funeral was no different.
Pastors, friends and family said Lewis cannot be another statistic, but instead a force for police reform in order to achieve “justice for Donovan.”
“Year after year we’ve prayed and protested, we’ve posted and we’ve demonstrated and still one after another we still do not see any effective change. We see the same cycle over and over,” said Minister Jeremiah Posey, Sr.
Shortly after Lewis’ death, Columbus Division of Police Chief Elaine Bryant announced changes Thursday to the department’s execution of pre-planned arrest warrants. Rex Elliott, an attorney for Lewis’ family, condemned the middle-of-the-night warrant that led to Lewis’ death.
Bryant sent an email Thursday to all sworn-in personnel, announcing that effective immediately, no pre-planned arrest warrant should be served at private residences for a misdemeanor offense — including domestic violence and nonviolent felony offenses — between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. without prior approval of a lieutenant or above.
“Over the past year, Chief Bryant and her leadership team have been reviewing a wide range of division policies and procedures to best serve officers and the community,” a CPD spokesperson told NBC4. “She stated during last week’s press conference this policy would be reviewed. That review began immediately, resulting in the decision to make this change.”
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations is tasked with reviewing the shooting, and the investigation must be finished before the case can be reviewed by the city’s Civilian Police Review Board to determine whether Anderson will be criminally charged.