COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus religious leaders are speaking out about the deadly shooting of 20-year-old Donovan Lewis by a Columbus police officer this week.
Just like city leaders, these religious leaders don’t want people to lose sight of the fact a family has lost a loved one, adding community members are watching closely as the investigation gets underway.
“It was tragic,” said Bishop Timothy Clarke, senior pastor at the First Church of God. “It was painful.”
Sitting in his office, Clarke said he can’t help but think of Lewis’ family. Clark has seen the body camera video released Tuesday by Columbus police.
“To watch that young man sit up in bed and not know he is seconds away from death, yeah, I watched as much as I could, but it’s gut-wrenching,” he said.
City and police leaders are asking the public for patience as the investigation takes place,
“I do believe our mayor, our safety director, our chief of police are sincere,” Clarke said. “I believe they will follow this all the way through, but I think we must also understand the angst and anger that is in our community tonight.”
“I would say we need to be able to trust the process, but the process needs to be trustworthy,” said Rev. Tim Ahrens with the First Congregational Church.
Ahrens has been part of a group that has pushed for more transparency and accountability from the Columbus Division of Police. He said transparency is key moving forward.
“You need to take time to get it right,” Ahrens said. “You shouldn’t rush through something like this. However, not rushing leads to distrust, so it’s a very nuanced thing.”
When it comes to transparency in incidents like this, Ahrens said from what he’s seen, he feels the city is working at it.