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Donovan Lewis' mother makes plea for justice 5 months after his death

It's been five months since a Columbus police officer shot and killed Lewis while serving a warrant.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Rebecca Duran says her son will never know his own child who is due to be born any day. Since his funeral five months ago, she said she hasn't heard from the police until now.

Duran wept as video from a Columbus police body camera was shown of her son's shooting death.

The shooting happened in the early morning hours of Aug. 30, 2022. A Columbus police officer shot and killed Donovan Lewis while he was in his own bed.

On Tuesday, five months later, Duran spoke at a press conference with lawyers Rex Elliott and Michael Wright. Wright once represented the family of Andre Hill, another man who a different Columbus police officer shot and killed at the end of 2020.

“It is time for the prosecutor’s office to do their job,” Wright said. “Since December 8, they've had every shred of evidence that they need to take this to the grand jury to indict this officer and to start the prosecution process.”

Duran said she saw Chief Elaine Bryant Monday night for the first time since her son was killed.

“I went to a community meeting, a community forum where she was present we agreed to talk at a future date. But that was the first time that I had any contact with anyone at Columbus police,” she said.

“Until last night there has been radio silence,” Elliott said.

Wright, Elliott and Duran say actions taken to address those involved in the death of Tyre Nichols is why they are speaking out now.

“The call to action is that if it can be done in a swift manner anywhere it can be done swiftly here,” Duran said.

The officer who shot Donovan Lewis is Ricky Anderson. He remains on paid administrative leave.

Melanie Amato, the public relations advisor for Columbus police, explained the investigative and disciplinary process in an e-mail to 10TV.

“We are legally bound by the investigative/disciplinary processes dictated by the Columbus City Code, the MOU between the City of Columbus and BCI, and by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This is the process:

When an officer uses deadly force, which results in a loss of life, BCI conducts an independent criminal investigation. Once the investigation is completed, BCI forwards the investigation to the Franklin County Prosecutor, who will present the evidence to a grand jury.

Once the criminal process is completed, the Office of the Inspector General may conduct an administrative investigation if a complaint is filed or if the Civilian Police Review Board initiates a complaint in order to determine if the officer’s actions were within policy. The IG’s findings go to the Civilian Review Board for review and recommendation of discipline and/or policy changes.

Any recommendation regarding discipline is required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement to be reviewed by the chain of command. Depending on the incident and level of discipline, it may rise to the level of the Chief and then the Director of Public Safety.

Any recommendations for suspension, demotion or termination would be determined by the Safety Director.

Officer Ricky Anderson is still employed with the Division of the Columbus Police while this process takes place.”

Special Prosecutors, Tim Merkle and Gary Shroyer, provided 10TV the following statement:

“The role and duty of the Special Prosecutors is to seek justice. Traditionally in Franklin County, all deaths as a result of the actions of law enforcement officers are reviewed by the Franklin County Grand Jury to determine if there is a basis to believe that a criminal act happened. Each incident has its own unique facts, circumstances, and timeline. Furthermore, any review of the use of force by law enforcement entails a detailed evaluation of all the facts and circumstances leading up to and surrounding the incident and application of guidelines set forth by the courts. That procedure can be time-consuming and in this case, is ongoing. We sympathize with the family of Donovan Lewis and their frustration with the process. We are dedicated to achieving justice in this matter.”

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