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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

After Tragic Donovan Lewis Shooting, Warrant Policy Changes Are Coming To Columbus Police

Columbus police will need approval for late-night warrants, but Lewis's family still wants more accountability.

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Family members, friends, and community members attend a rally in the name of Donovan Lewis at the Columbus Division of Police Headquarters on September 2, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. Lewis, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot and killed while in bed by Columbus Police as they were serving an arrest warrant on August 30th.
Family members, friends, and community members attend a rally in the name of Donovan Lewis at the Columbus Division of Police Headquarters on September 2, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. Lewis, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot and killed while in bed by Columbus Police as they were serving an arrest warrant on August 30th.
Photo: Gaelen Morse (Getty Images)

A year after the death of Breonna Taylor, Louisville banned no-knock warrants entirely, and the state of Kentucky placed restrictions on how they could be executed. Now, the Columbus Division of Police is looking at their own set of changes - particularly on how late-night warrants are done after the tragic death of 20-year-old Donovan Lewis in the Ohio city a couple of weeks ago.

NBC News reports Chief Elaine Bryant issued a directive that “high-level approval” will be needed for Columbus police to serve warrants between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

From NBC News:

“Effective immediately and until revised or rescinded by me, no pre-planned arrest warrants shall be served at private residences for all misdemeanor offenses (including domestic violence) and non-violent felony offenses between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. without the prior approval of a lieutenant or above,” the memo said. The memo also stated that the new policy does not apply to tactical units like SWAT or task force personnel.

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Donovan Lewis was fatally shot in his apartment at 2:30 a.m. by Columbus police Officer Rick Anderson while officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant for improperly handling a firearm, assault, and domestic violence.

While these changes are a good first step, Lewis’s family and the surrounding community still want accountability. In particular, Lewis family attorney Rex Elliott wants late-night warrants gone completely and wonders why this happened in the first place.

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“I’d like to know why in the world they are executing warrants at 2 o’clock in the morning,” Elliott said at a September 1 news conference. “I think all of us in this room probably had parents tell us, ‘Nothing good happens at 2 o’clock in the morning.’”

Calls for justice continued at Lewis’s funeral on Saturday, where Rev. Jeremiah Posey Sr. said to a heavy-hearted crowd, “He wasn’t armed. He wasn’t dangerous. He wasn’t America’s most wanted. He was just Donovan.”