The mother of an unarmed Ohio man who was shot dead by cops after they mistakenly mistook his e-cigarette as a gun said she found out her son had died online.
Rebecca Doran, Donovan Lewis’ mother, arrived at her son’s apartment in the Hilltop area of Columbus after an officer shot her son during a 3 a.m. police raid on August 30.
Doran went to her son’s home during moments of active investigation after receiving disturbing information about her son.
“The news was spreading information online before I got it,” Doran said. News letters. “I was at the scene and I needed to find out what really happened.”
The grieving mother was captured on police body cam crying hysterically and begging the police to let her see Lewis outside his home on the day he died.
“Where did they take him?” Doran said, holding her face in her hands, begging the officers to tell her where they had taken Louis.
“How did they call his girlfriend, but not me?”
She later added, “The police called her and said he was dead and they revived him, then they were still working on it and he didn’t respond.”
“I just want to know which hospital he is in…if he’s still alive and I can see him,” Doran said.
A sympathetic officer replied: “This is above me… An investigator should come [and speak to you.] They are rolling. I promise, I want you to be where you want to be as fast as possible… I’m a parent too, and I understand that.
“He’s mentally ill, and I know that’s been the story all along but it’s the truth,” Doran concluded.
Columbus officer Ricky Anderson, who was responsible for the shooting of Lewis, remains on unpaid leave amid a pending lawsuit.
Donovan Lewis, 20, was shot and killed by police in Columbus, Ohio, just before 3 a.m. on August 30 while in bed
Lewis was seen a split second before Ricky Anderson, a K-9 therapist and 30-year-old Columbus police veteran, pulled the trigger.
Rebecca Doran, mother of Donovan Lewis, arrived at her son’s apartment in the Hilltop area of Columbus crying on August 30.
Louis knew something wasn’t right when the officers didn’t tell her more information about her son
Police body cameras captured the raid on the house on August 30. Police were sent to the apartment complex on Sullivant Street to file a felony warrant for domestic violence, assault, and gun-related accidents on the second floor of the building.
The footage showed police knocking on the apartment door for several minutes and handcuffing two men who answered with handcuffs.
An officer asked if Donovan Lewis was inside. The man replied that he did not know who was inside because he was asleep.
They dispatched a K-9, and when the dog signaled there was a third man in the room to Officer Anderson, the K-9 handler opened the door, fired his rifle a second later and killed Lewis.
In the footage, Lewis can be seen raising his right hand toward the officers, while his left hand is still near the pillow.
Then an officer asked Louis to “crawl here”, but the young man remained on the bed.
They entered the room, looked for weapons before handcuffing him, and told him to “stop resisting.” A vape pen is found next to it.
He was taken to the apartment and taken to an ambulance that was waiting for him. Lewis died in the hospital.
Rex Elliott, a lawyer for the Lewis family, said Officer Anderson – who has been placed on leave pending investigation – was “totally reckless”.
There was no reason to serve this [arrest warrant] In the middle of the night, Elliott told ABC.
“The truth is that this police officer opened the door and within a split second, he didn’t have time to realize anything was in Lewis’s hands.
“[Donovan’s] Hands were worked beside him. The policemen were yelling at him to get out of the room. He gets out of bed as they asked him to. He is following police orders when he was killed in cold blood.
Rex Elliott (right), the lawyer for the Lewis family, said there was no reason for the police to go to the apartment in the middle of the night or at night or shoot Lewis.
The police knocked for eight minutes before the first two men walked out of the apartment
Two men walk out of the apartment with their hands raised and handcuffed after the police knocked on the door for several minutes
One of them was asked who was in the apartment, and he said he didn’t know
K-9 was seen looking around the apartment, swinging in the bedroom where Louis was lying in bed
Anderson was seen restraining his dog moments after the fatal shooting
Anderson (on the right with the dog) fired the shot less than a second after the door was opened
The officers did not attempt to implement life-saving measures on Louis until several minutes later
Lewis may not have heard officers knocking on his door because his room is in the back of the apartment, according to Elliott
While body camera footage was released to the public, Doran was unable to view the full video. She forced herself to watch the snippets to understand what went wrong.
“I knew something was wrong, and I didn’t know what it was, so I had to see for myself,” Doran told ABC.
Doran said the footage “clearly” refers to the fact that the officer who opened the trigger did not see him.
“He was partially behind the door, and when he went to shoot him, he didn’t shoot the person with clear vision, so obviously something was very, very, very wrong,” she said.
After the shooting, it was about five minutes before the police stepped in and took action to save lives.
“There’s not much left, the fact that there are delays in care,” Doran said. There was no attempt to save his life.
[They were] Handcuffed inspection [and] Turn him over on the bed. He should have been treated immediately in that room.
Doran emotionally remembered her son’s life and heart, who cared for those around them.
“He had a wonderful life,” Doran said, crying. I love life. He had the joy of life. He loved people. He had a big heart.
Doran said other people reached out to her and remembered Louis for her smile, sense of humor, and “beautiful” eyelashes.
Lewis’ mother said Anderson didn’t see him lying in bed when he pulled the trigger
The police waited about five minutes before carrying out life-saving measures to save Louis
His family and friends remember Louis as leaning towards others
Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said Anderson was given leave, and she emphasized that they wanted complete transparency in the investigation – which is why they released the footage.
“Donovan Lewis lost his life,” she said.
As a parent, I sympathize with and grieve for his mother. I am sad for our society.
Every day, officers are put into bargaining, sometimes life-threatening, as we have to make decisions in milliseconds.
As chief, my job is to hold the officers accountable, but it’s also my job to support them and make sure I’m given that during the process.
If they do the right things for the right reasons, we will support them. If they do something wrong, they will be held accountable.
Mark Collins, the attorney representing Anderson, is seeking a “thorough investigation,” according to News letters.
“He was dumbfounded to have been put in a situation where he had to use lethal force,” Collins said. “As a parent, his heart goes out to the Lewis family.”
Collins argued that Anderson’s actions reflected what he had learned in training and that the camera captured invisible “corners”.
All that was done was to train him. Sometimes they are in a situation where they have to make a decision in a split second. And in this case, Anderson thought what he saw was a gun, which is why he shot because he thought his life was in danger.
Of course, he was wrong, because it was not a rifle. But was this mistake reasonable and Supreme Court cases and jury instructions give respect to police officers in this kind of situation because officers every day across America are in those situations.
Meanwhile, Doran said Anderson should not be able to resume his work as an officer anywhere else.
The Lewis family plan to file a civil lawsuit in the coming weeks.