Crowds began gathering Saturday morning for a funeral service for 20-year-old Donovan Lewis, who was fatally shot by a Columbus police officer early August 30.
The parking lot at Christian Valley Missionary Baptist Church, 3330 Scottwood Road, on Barnett Road on the Columbus East Side, was filled before the officially beginning hours of 11 a.m., with mourners in a long line down the center of the chapel were waiting. A spokesman for the family said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and US Representative Joyce Beatty met with Lewis’ family members for about 15 minutes before the service and offered condolences.
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Mourners cry as they see Donovan Lewis’ coffin
Lewis’ body, in an open coffin, was placed in front of the chapel, surrounded by flowers. Some mourners cried seeing this.
“Don’t tell me people can’t change,” said Pastor Donald Fitzgerald Jr. “We have to give them time to mature and change.”
Many friends and family spoke of Lewis as a caring person who would check on his friends, ask how they were doing and talk a lot about his mother; who wanted to help change the world; who loved art and music; who forgives; One who respected his elders and loved his family; who can quote Bible verses; On his way was an unborn child about whom he was excited; And who will miss?
At the end of the service, the crowd was asked to rise and Lewis was given a standing ovation.
An obituary distributed to the service states that Lewis played high school basketball and football. “His high energy and spirited personality make him both a handful and a ball of fun!” Said it.
The Rev. Jeremiah Posey Sr., “spoke to all young people who are experiencing the turmoil and ill-effects of this Second America” rooted in the history of slavery and discrimination. He said young black men are being “cut off” from the idea that they are a threat, not an asset. “But for the grace of God it could have been me” said Posey when he was a young man.
“He wasn’t armed. He wasn’t dangerous. He wasn’t America’s Most Wanted. He was just Donovan.”
Lewis “was just a young man, and he deserved justice,” said Posey, who met Lewis on a camping trip and realized he was going through a transition in life. He saw her one last time at a gas station, and they talked in Posey’s truck. Lewis gave Posey his number.
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“To be quite honest with you, it touched my heart because I never called him. And it hurt me.”
The coffin was sealed and carried in a gleaming white horse parked in a row of white limos across the lawn of the church, as Louise’s mother watched from the front row. Lewis is to be cremated.
Westerville Central High School held a moment of silence for Lewis on Friday night before the start of his football game against Upper Arlington. Lewis, a 2020 graduate of Westerville Central, plays middle linebacker and tight end.
At around 2 a.m. on August 30, several officers went to Lewis’s apartment in the 3200 block of Sullivent Avenue on the city’s hilltop, arresting him on multiple warrants, including one felony charge of improper handling of a firearm, a misdemeanor probation violation and misdemeanor. Included. Domestic violence and assault charges for an incident involving his pregnant girlfriend on August 10, court records show.
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Confrontation between Donovan Lewis and Columbus Police
Body camera footage of Columbus police officers shows several officers knocking on Lewis’s door for eight to 10 minutes and identifying themselves as Columbus cops. One of the two other people in the apartment eventually opened the door, and police detained him in handcuffs. The latter were listed as witnesses, but their identities have not been released by the police and have not been charged.
A Columbus K-9 was then sent to the apartment to evacuate the unit, and dogs coming from the apartment and sounds that were captured on audio from police body cameras indicated that someone was in a bedroom away from the kitchen area. was. Police warned that anyone who is in the bedroom should come out or they are going to take the dog out on them.
Although Officer Ricky Anderson, a 30-year veteran of the city’s police division who was the dog’s handler, leashed the dog, a move K-9 specialist told the dispatch was sound because freeing the dog would most likely lead to the suspect. bitten and would be an unnecessary use of force.
Anderson then slowly opened the bedroom door as a police sergeant drew his gun and his light flashed on Lewis. “Hand!” As Louise began to sit on the bed. Within a second, Anderson leaned toward the open door and fired a single shot that hit Lewis in the stomach, seriously injuring him.
As officers were handcuffing Lewis and assessing his injury, body camera video showed Police Chief Ellen Bryant confirming there was a vape pen on the bed that Lewis had in hand when the door was opened. Officers then escorted Lewis out of the apartment where he provided medical assistance, including CPR. Medics took Lewis to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 3:19 a.m.
The Ohio Criminal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.
Lewis’ death was the third shooting by Columbus police in a span of eight days in August and was opposed by police critics.