Dayton attorney joins team representing man killed by Columbus Police

A Dayton attorney will be joining the legal team representing the family of a man who was killed in his bed by Columbus Police.

Michael Wright said he was asked to join as co-counsel in the case of 20-year-old Donovan Lewis.

Lewis, a Black man, was shot Aug. 30 less than a second after Columbus officer Ricky Anderson opened the door of the bedroom where Lewis was sleeping, police video shows. Columbus police say officers were at the scene to arrest Lewis on multiple warrants including domestic violence, assault and felony improper handling of a firearm.

Explore3 years after West Chester family’s murders, suspect Gurpreet Singh has final hearing before trial

Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant has said Lewis appeared to be holding a vape pen before he was shot, a notion disputed by the family’s lead attorney, Rex Elliott.

The shooting was captured on body cameras.

“The video infuriated me,” Wright told the Dayton Daily News, “There was obviously no reason for this police officer to take the life of this young man. It just sickens me that this continues to happen.”

Wright has represented other families of people who were killed by police, including the family of John Crawford. Crawford was killed by Beavercreek police in a Walmart in 2014. Wright also represented the family of Andre Hill, a 47-year-old Columbus man who was shot and killed by Columbus Police in 2020.

“We must continue to hold these departments accountable,” Wright said.

Wright said police need to review policies and training and said initiating the execution of arrest warrants at 2:30 a.m. for “relatively low-level type of crime is just ridiculous.”

“And the way they handled this entry, as opposed to using de-escalation and things of that nature, they just did everything wrong.”

An attorney representing Anderson said last week that the investigation must look at “the totality of the circumstances.”

In such cases, “we are expressly forbidden from using 20/20 hindsight, because unlike all of us, officers are not afforded the luxury of armchair reflection when they are faced with rapidly evolving, volatile encounters in dangerous situations,” attorney Mark Collins said.

Elliott said he plans a civil lawsuit in the future against Anderson and the city.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

About the Author