Donovan Lewis’ family speaks out for first time at protest in Columbus

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Daryl Lewis said his son Donovan Lewis loved his family and had a good heart. Before a crowd of more than 100 protesters gathered outside the Columbus Police Division headquarters on Friday, the parents of Donovan Lewis spoke for the first time publicly about their 20-year-old son who died on Tuesday when a police officer of Columbus shot him.

“He loved the music,” Lewis’ mother, Rebecca (Becca) Duran, said through tears. “He loved to sing. He loved sports. He wanted to be loved and he loved people unconditionally. He had so many friends from so many different walks of life. He’s so much more than they want him to look like.”

The family of Donovan Lewis, who was killed by a Columbus officer, speak at a protest

Lewis died early Tuesday morning after Constable Ricky Anderson fired a single shot into the 20-year-old’s bedroom within seconds of his door being opened. Anderson, who is on paid leave under division policy, and several other officers were attempt to stop Lewis on warrants for domestic violence and assault, in addition to a felony charge of improper handling of a firearm.

“He was so sweet and kind even when someone was disrespecting him and there was a situation,” said Daryl Lewis, Donovan’s father. “He was so forgiving that he would forget about it and keep coming to you and showing you his love.”

Rex Elliott, a lawyer representing Lewis’ family, said at the protest, “the only way to change is through outrage.”

A little after 7 p.m. on Friday, protesters began marching east from police headquarters on West Long Street. Cyclists preceded walkers to keep traffic from crossing intersections, making way for walkers.

The demonstration was one of three organized this weekend by JUST, which stands for Justice, Unity & Social Transformation. According to its Facebook page, the group celebrated its second anniversary on August 22 and describes itself as a “Columbus-based grassroots group seeking to enrich communities through mutual aid, to promote education, to fight for justice and to demand fairness”.

Full video:A timeline of the fatal shooting of Donovan Lewis by Columbus police

A criminal investigation is underway into the fatal police shooting, which is also be condemned by local religious leadersincluding one expressing exhaustion at the number of black men killed at the hands of police.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, a branch of the state attorney general’s office, is expected to take several months to complete its investigation. Once completed, it will be presented to the Franklin County District Attorney’s office for possible arraignment.

Protesters gather outside Columbus police headquarters on Friday to condemn the police shooting death of Donovan Lewis.
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