Donovan Lewis killed in bed by police in Ohio, bodycam footage shows

Study finds two in 10 Americans, overwhelmingly people of colour, experience gun violence

Lawyer Rex Elliott addresses reporters with the extended family of Donovan Lewis behind him in Columbus, Ohio. AP
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Family members spoke out on Thursday after police released footage of the killing of Donovan Lewis, a young black man shot dead by officers in Columbus, Ohio, while he was in bed.

Body camera footage of Tuesday's shooting showed that less than a second had passed between police officer Ricky Anderson pushing open a bedroom door and firing a single shot into Lewis's abdomen.

“There was no justification — let me be clear — no justification for Officer Anderson to shoot an unarmed man trying to get out of bed as police officers were instructing him to do,” said family lawyer Rex Elliott.

“Donovan was asleep before officers arrived and had no warning that [police] would burst into his apartment.”

It appeared that Lewis, 20, had a vaping device in his hand, but no weapons were found in the apartment, police chief Elaine Bryant said. He was declared dead in hospital after he had been handcuffed and carried to a police vehicle.

Police had a warrant to arrest Lewis on charges of domestic violence, assault and the improper handling of a firearm, she said.

The Ohio Bureau of Investigation is investigating the killing, the latest in a long string of unarmed black Americans being killed by police in the US.

More broadly, about two in 10 US adults say they or someone close to them has had personal experience with gun violence, a recent poll found.

The survey also suggested that black and Hispanic adults were even more likely to have had their lives affected by it.

The poll, by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research, found that 54 per cent of black Americans and 27 per cent of Hispanic Americans reported that they, or a close friend or family member, had experienced gun violence in the past five years, compared with 13 per cent of white Americans.

Overall, 21 per cent of US adults reported a personal connection to gun violence, such as being threatened by a gun or being a victim of a shooting.

Updated: September 01, 2022, 5:05 PM