COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ahead of Saturday’s funeral for Donovan Lewis, the unarmed 20-year-old was shot dead by Columbus police on Aug. 30, the city’s sheriff issued a policy change to with a late night warrant.
Columbus police officer Ricky Anderson fatally shot Lewis during an arrest. Lewis, who is wanted for domestic violence, assault and improper handling of a firearm, was in bed at the time of the shooting.
Full body camera footage shows Anderson drawing his weapon before opening the bedroom door. After an officer shouted “Hands!” and flashed a beam of light at Lewis as he sat up in bed, Anderson fired a single shot.
Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said Lewis was holding what appeared to be a vape pen in his hand during the shooting.
The Ohio Department of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting. Anderson, a 30-year former police officer, was assigned to the canine unit, and three other officers were placed on administrative leave.
Take a shot spark protests across Columbus as protesters demanded that the police be held accountable.
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On Thursday, Bryant issued an internal memo changing the department’s policy on serving overnight arrest warrants for certain suspects wanted in the wake of the deadly shooting.
Effective immediately, Columbus police have no pre-planned arrest warrants that can be served in private homes between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. for misdemeanor warrants – including violent domestic force – or a nonviolent felony order unless approved by a lieutenant or higher, according to the memo.
Bryant said that a pre-planned subpoena is one of the only reasons an officer goes to an address to serve the subpoena. The change in policy does not apply to SWAT or other tactical units, she said.
Bryant issued the internal memo about an hour after starting a press conference in front of Columbus City Hall, where Rex Elliott, the attorney representing the Lewis family, called for an end to the overnight service order.
Elliott says practice should end “unless there are urgent, dangerous circumstances.”
Columbus police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the timing of the policy change.
Elliott told the Columbus Dispatch, part of the USA TODAY Network, that the sheriff’s swift action is a “good first step” that offers hope for change in the police department.
“It was a start, but it must be clearly acknowledged that what happened that night was unnecessary and could have been avoided,” Elliott said.
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Meanwhile, a funeral service for Lewis was scheduled for Saturday noon. Lewis’ family is expected to speak, and a minister from the All Nations Worship Council in Columbus will deliver a eulogy.
Westerville Central High School, located northeast of Columbus, held a moment of silence before Friday’s football game. Lewis graduated from the school in 2020 and was a midfielder and tight finisher for the football team.