COLUMBUS, Ohio — The attorney representing the family of Donovan Lewis is calling for police to immediately improve their training after the 20-year-old man was fatally shot by a Columbus police officer Tuesday morning.
K-9 Officer Ricky Anderson, a 30-year veteran of the Columbus police department, was among the officers who approached Lewis’ door and demanded that he come out of the room. Anderson opened the door and fired a shot, striking Lewis as he was sitting up in bed.
Mayor Andrew Ginther said under his leadership he's helped to reform the police department to add more transparency between the division and the public.
"Just a couple of years ago we didn't have body worn camera, we didn't have independent investigations taking place, we didn't have a civilian review board, or an inspector general or the DOJ involved, and [now] we have all those things," Ginther said.
Lewis was wanted by police at the time of the shooting for domestic violence and a felony warrant on a gun charge.
Police body camera footage shows police yelling for him to come out of his apartment for 10 minutes.
When asked why he didn't comply, the attorney for the family explained, "He was known to be a deep sleeper and the second possibility is that he was afraid. He was afraid about police officer in his apartment at 2:30 in the morning and to be honest with you for what we've seen in this country, what 20-year-old young Black man wouldn't be scared?" said Elliott.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is now investigating the shooting and it's unclear how long that will take before it's presented to a grand jury.
After the shooting police said Lewis had a vape pen in his hand. The attorney for the family said the video doesn't show that and even if it did, the pen doesn't resemble a gun, and doesn't justify the shooting.
The attorney for the family called the shooting unjustified because Lewis was unarmed and was shot in a split second after the officer opened his bedroom door.
A community forum will take place on RadioOne this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Ginther, Columbus Division of Police Chief Elaine Bryant and others in the community will join the discussion.