Mother of black man killed by Columbus police speaks out for first time after son’s death

The mother of Donovan Lewis, a black man shot dead by Columbus police, spoke exclusively to ABC News’ Linsey Davis in her first interview since her son’s death – telling Davis she found out about the death of his son on the Internet.

“I arrived on the scene when they were just starting out, and they didn’t give me any information,” Rebecca Duran said Wednesday.

Confused about what was going on at the filming location, Duran said she always knew something was wrong with her son and just wanted some answers.

“The news was spreading information on the internet before I could get it,” Duran said. “I was at the scene and needed to see what really happened.

Lewis, 20, and future father, was fatally shot by Columbus Police Officer Ricky Anderson, a 30-year veteran of the Columbus Police Department, last Tuesday. Police say they arrived at Lewis’ apartment in the Columbus, Ohio, Hilltop neighborhood around 2 a.m. to arrest him on three separate counts – improper handling of a firearm in a vehicle, assault and domestic violence charge stemming from his girlfriend’s call. to the police in August.

Body camera footage has since been released of Lewis in bed and Anderson is currently on paid administrative leave, according to the Columbus Police Department.

This undated family photo shows Donovan Lewis, who was shot by police in Columbus, Ohio on August 30, 2022.

Family of Donovan Lewis via AP

Duran says her son was manhandled by authorities, calling their actions “delayed care” and claiming they treated him like “an animal”.

“There was no attempt to save his life, searching him, handcuffing him, turning them on the bed. I work in health care,” Duran said.

Duran also says she did not see the full encounter of police and her son in the body camera video released hours after Lewis’ death.

“I’ve seen snippets,” Duran said. “I don’t have to see the worst treatment of him.”

Duran remembers his son as a loving boy with a big heart, always putting others before himself.

“He loved life. He had a zest for life. He loved people. He had the biggest heart,” Duran said.

“People who have contacted me, teachers, coaches, a whole host of people throughout his life, his friends all talk about his awesome sense of humor, his awesome smile… You know, how he cared about those around him. And even when he had nothing, he wanted others to succeed,” she added.

Donovan’s death, like others, sparked outrage and protests in the state capital of Buckeye. The protests for Lewis are just one of many chain reactions of police shootings across the city.

“There has to be real change and nothing is different,” Duran said.

“There are other cases here in Columbus; Oh, very, very, very similar to Donovan’s…but nothing has changed,” she added.

PHOTO: A photo of Donovan Lewis is displayed during a rally at Columbus Police Division Headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, September 2, 2022.

A photo of Donovan Lewis is displayed during a rally at Columbus Police Division headquarters in Columbus, Ohio on September 2, 2022.

Gaelen Morse/Getty Images

Duran, alongside her attorney Rex Elliott, who occasionally comforted her during the interview as she began to cry, said they plan to file a civil rights lawsuit against Anderson and the city ​​of columbus. Elliott asserted that the excessive use of deadly force “was not necessary”.

Mark Collins, the attorney representing Anderson, previously said in a statement obtained by ABC News that he wanted a “thorough investigation.”

Columbus Inspector General Jacqueline Hendricks is now set to open an investigation into Lewis’s case and as a result Duran says she wants to see Anderson fired and imprisoned.

“He should never be able to perform any type of duty as an officer anywhere in the world,” Duran said.

Both Duran and Elliott believe Lewis’ race and skin color played a role in his death.

“I don’t know how you can’t come to another conclusion,” Elliott said. “He had several white police officers going after an unarmed black youth in a community they didn’t understand. And this boy must have been petrified as he got out of bed and thought about all the other incidents that happened. were produced in this country.”

Lewis will be laid to rest Saturday at noon and his funeral will be held at Christian Valley Baptist Church in Ohio.

ABC News

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