COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The family of Donovan Lewis and their attorney gathered at the statehouse on Friday to demand action.
It’s been one month since a Columbus Police officer shot and killed Lewis while he was unarmed, in bed. His family wants criminal charges filed against the officer responsible for his death.
“This is not a fleeing felon, this is not a criminal, this is not somebody who posed a danger to anybody. This was an arrest warrant for a misdemeanor charge and for missing a court date,” said Attorney Rex Elliot.
Lewis’ family and their attorneys also want to know what the hold up is with the BCI investigation into the Columbus police officer responsible for Lewis’ death.
“We are here 30 days later. Our patience is running out. The reality is there is no reason to drag on this investigation,” Elliot said.
Lewis was shot and killed by Columbus police officer Ricky Anderson while attempting to serve an arrest warrant. Anderson has since been placed on administrative leave, but they say that isn’t enough. Elliot said to them justice looks like indictment, arrest and incarceration for Anderson.
“They drag their feet through this thing. As Michael said in the press conference the video is clear, the video is crystal clear,” Elliot said. “They’ve had plenty of time to interview people, to look at videos to reach conclusions if that is what they are going to do and so it’s time for this to end.”
Lewis’ mother Rebecca Duran said this has been the hardest month of her life. She said she wants to see real change to how an officer reacts on the site of a crime.
She said she thought that would happen after the implementation of Andres Law which requires officers to perform life saving measures upon the use of force that causes bodily harm. But. Duran said based on what she saw on the body camera footage the night her son was killed, that isn’t the case.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again there’s nothing has ever did in his entire life that would’ve gotten him a life sentence or a death penalty,” Duran said.
Duran said she misses her son every day. She said if she could say something to her son right now it would be ‘I love you to the moon and back,’ since her son used to say that to her all the time. She said there are so many other ways this could have been handled while also sparing Lewis’ life. So, Duran said she will not stop fighting until that is noticed and change is achieved.
“Make them realize that this isn’t going away. No matter how long you take I, if no one else will, keep coming back. I’m not going to be quiet.”
Community members also joined in on their calls for change, holding a vigil to honor Lewis’ life. One by one, people spoke, including people like the mother of Casey Goodson who has lost a child to an officer involved shooting, about why real change is not only needed for the Lewis family but the city of Columbus as a whole.
“Standing here right here right now it doesn’t appear that they are doing what is necessary to prevent these killings. And we will know sometime down the line if these killings stop that they’ve done what they’re supposed to do,” said attorney Michael Wright.
Since Lewis’ death, Columbus police have made changes to how and when pre-planned arrest warrants can be executed.