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When two White police officers entered the room where unarmed Donovan Lewis was sleeping around 2:30 AM CT, they gave him less than one second to comply before fatally shooting him in the abdomen.
Lewis had outstanding warrants for domestic violence, assault and improperly handling a firearm, according to Axios.
Per 10 WBNS, Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said officers knocked on the apartment door for 8-10 minutes before anyone answered. Two men inside were taken into custody and the officers then called in a K9 unit to assist in a search of the apartment.
Body camera footage shows Columbus K-9 officer Ricky Anderson and other officers inside the second-floor apartment of a three-story building on the 3200 block of Sullivant Avenue searching with a K-9 for Lewis.
As the white officers sent their K-9 to search inside the apartment while they safely wait outside the door, orders are barked for the suspect inside to come out and reveal himself.
Once their commands were not responded to, multiple officers then enter and soon thereafter open a bedroom door and in a split second, Lewis is seen and then shot on the very bed he’d just been asleep on.
“Hands!” veteran officer Anderson yells after shooting Lewis. The released video footage shows Lewis, who appeared to be awakened out of his sleep, having only enough time to look at the officers before Anderson shot Lewis without provocation or threat – other than his Black skin.
“Hands” the officers repeatedly yell, as if Lewis is in any position to comply after being abruptly disoriented and then immediately shot.
After shooting Lewis, the officers continued yelling commands at the then shot and bleeding out man. “Hands! Crawl out here!” Blood is then seen pouring into the bed.
Columbus officers demand “Stop resisting!” to a man already shot
Even more sickening, after being shot, the officers cuff him and tell him, “you’re alright, buddy” as if this is a normal occurrence and Lewis shouldn’t be panicking that his life is literally in their hands as they carry his limp body out of his home. Nothing about this is normal.
As officers take Lewis’ unresponsive body down a flight of stairs, one officer is heard saying, “slow down, I have no grip” as if they’re moving a heavy couch and not the body and soul of a human being. The video, like Lewis’ life, ends there.
Lewis later died at Grant Medical Center.
2020 was supposed to bring change, it did, for the worse.
In the year of 2020 when so many people thought tangible change was coming to America’s police forces, we’ve sadly seen too many instances since then that remind us police have not only changed, but in many cases, they’ve become even more emboldened to behave recklessly and without fear of reprisal.
How many Breonna Taylor’s and Donovan Lewis’s have to be murdered while in bed for something to change?
While signings like these look good on paper and the appearance of progress seems forthcoming, it is the officers themselves who enter these residences – not Governor’s. Federal policies are needed to protect the lives of defenseless Black people across the country who are often victim to trigger-happy policemen that routinely receive no harsher punishment than administrative paid leave.
You can’t legislate humanity, and when a group of white men get together along with a German Shepard, history has shown us time and again racialized chaos and even death will ensue.
What can and will be done?
Yesterday, President Biden spoke to a crowd at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Investments regarding community policing and crime prevention policy components of his Safer America Plan, urging communities to use federal funds to supplement local police as early as May.
Yet in his speech, he had no harsh criticisms of America’s police departments which have wreaked havoc on our communities from Delaware to Des Moines. While Biden, like every other President before him, has wholly supported police departments across the nation, Black men, women, and children have continued to be hunted and killed by those very officers who shoot first and ask questions last.
A “Safer America” for Black people would first have to come from our local police forces, who have historically and currently used us as target practice when exercising their most innate and inhumane disdain for anyone melanated.
RIP to Donovan Lewis. He was only 20 years old.