Say his name. Donovan Lewis
There are no words that will accurately describe the terror, heartbreak, and shock in our community as we grieve the murder of Donovan Lewis by Columbus Police Department.
In the span of one heartbeat, the door to his bedroom was pushed open and he was unceremoniously shot, on his bed, as he woke up. The officer who murdered him didn’t even hesitate – in the space of one breath, executing Donovan – cold, calm, and detached.
Make no mistake, police violence is gun violence. Not even two months after Akron Police Department lynched Jayland Walker and here we are with another Black man murdered in Ohio by a police officer. We do not allow for any citizen, let alone within an institution that claims to protect us to operate with impunity and hide behind a badge.
Time and time again, it is very clear. Ohio is not safe for Black people.
The released video is clear. The Columbus police officer shot Donovon in his stomach immediately upon entry into his bedroom, a K9 in one hand and his gun in the other. Officers then ordered him to crawl out of the room with a bullet in his stomach. When he couldn’t, they cuffed him while claiming he was resisting arrest despite being fatally wounded, then pulled his pants and underwear down before deciding to carry him out of the apartment by hand. Before carrying him, you can hear one officer demand gloves as if there weren’t already blood on his hands. To make matters worse, they laid Donovan’s near naked body on the outdoor steps of the apartment complex to take a breather and readjust. What they did was absolutely horrifying and dangerous.
This may have been avoided if CPD didn’t feel the need to serve a search warrant at 3 AM.
As our families bury their loved ones, our nation continues to ignore these lessons that we so often need to learn. The Louisville warrant that led to Breonna Taylor’s murder in 2020 was served just after midnight. Imagine the confusion of being awakened in the middle of the night. You’re in a dark room. Outside there is a dog barking and police officers shouting orders. What’s your first move? Is it to comply? Is it to wait a beat and get your bearings? Serving an arrest warrant in the middle of the night is completely reckless and irresponsible.
There is no amount of justice that will bring Donovan Lewis back to his family.
There is no way to erase the residual trauma the community has experienced.
There is no amount of accountability that will return this son to his mother.
There is no amount of oversight in our current system that will create an environment where Black people are not persecuted by police officers in Columbus and in Ohio.
We honor the wishes of the Lewis family and encourage our neighbors, families, and friends to remember Donovan with #sayhisnamedonovanlewis on social media.
We grieve – for his family, for his friends, for his neighbors, and for our community, at large. All our children and families must not continue to witness Black people repeatedly murdered by police officers.
We refuse to normalize the lynching of Black lives.
We refuse to normalize the lack of impunity that police officers operate with.
We refuse to accept this as the unending reality.
659 brutally murdered Ohioans since 2000 still aren’t enough?
Our families unite and lead this fight because they know this loss first hand. They wake up daily with the reminder that their loved ones are no longer physically present. Yet despite their enormous grief, they push forward and turn their pain into power by still dedicating their lives to ending police brutality in Ohio.
All of our families must stand behind them in stopping the senseless persecution of Black and poor people by the police state.
Nothing will change until we come together as Ohioans and put our families first.
Nothing will change until people who have experienced this pain are put in positions of power to dismantle these systems of oppression.
Nothing will change until our impacted leaders are on our school boards and city councils, in our statehouse, in the Governor’s office. We need Ohio leaders who are impacted by police violence to run and to win.
We need to put Ohio families first at the ballot box.
We need to put Ohio families in office.
And to do that we need to vote.
We vote for Donovan Lewis. For Jamarco McShann. For Henry Green V. For Deaunte Bell. For Michael Tuck. For Angelo Miller. For Mark Myles. For James Williams. For Jayland Walker. For Kevin Valentine. For Isaiah Robinson. For Desmond Franklin. For Jaron Thomas. For Tamir Rice. For Craig Bickerstaff. For Daunte Martin.
And for the 643 Ohioans who will never vote because they will never come home to their families again.
We need you.
Believe that Black lives are precious.
Believe these grieving families are worth standing with
Believe that we can vote and put ourselves in power.
We are our future.
Spread the word.