Every parent expects their children to outlive them. But for Black parents baked into those expectations is a fear their child could be killed by police.
Rebecca Duran had to face those fears head-on when they became a reality after her son was killed by Columbus Police in Ohio last week. Now she speaking out for the first time and says race ‘absolutely’ played a role in his death.
On August 30th, Columbus Police shot and killed Donovan Lewis in his home while he was in his bed.
Lewis was being served an arrest warrant on charges of improperly handling a firearm, assault, and domestic violence.
Body camera footage shows Lewis sitting on his bed when his door was opened and a cop, identified as Officer Ricky Anderson, allegedly thought he was armed and fired into the room, striking Lewis. He would later die at a nearby hospital.
Donovan Lewis was holding a vape pen.
Mark Collins, the attorney for Anderson claims his client had to use lethal force.
“He was devastated that he was placed in a situation where he had to use lethal force,” attorney Mark Collins told ABC 6. “As a parent himself, his heart goes out to the Lewis family.”
But Lewis’ mom questioned why the officers were even serving an arrest warrant in the middle of the night.
“We first have to start with the fact that this arrest warrant was served in the middle of the night, which is a massive problem,” she told ABC News. “There was no reason to serve this in the middle of the night and create the chaos that they did.”
She also says she believes Lewis was following the commands of the officers so there was never really a reason to shoot.
“He’s following police commands when he is gunned down in cold blood, said Duran. “There was no indication on this video that there was anything in his hand or any reason for this officer to use deadly force.”
When asked if she believed race play a factor in her son’s death she said, “Absolutely.”
“Absolutely. Absolutely. Donovan himself, he wrote some journals that, well, at a later date I’ll release them, she told ABC News. “In his own words, he was very, very adamant that people of color, he stressed that people of color, not just Black, but people of color, are not treated equally. And that after so many years, and he talked about the civil rights movement. I mean, Donovan was an activist before he was the reason for an action.”
Duran and the family’s attorney, Rex Elliot say they will file charges against the city as well as the officer who killed Lewis.
“It’s a civil rights violation,” said Duran. “It’s excessive force. They use deadly force in a situation where deadly force was not called for. It was a reckless shooting.”