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The National Council of Churches USA (NCC) is outraged by the killing of Donovan Lewis, an unarmed 20-year-old Black man, who was shot by police in Columbus, OH, on Tuesday, August 30, 2022.

Video evidence shows Lewis was shot without any chance to comply with police orders. In the recently released body camera video, a police officer opens the bedrooms door and immediately shoots Lewis. Then, to literally add insult to injury, police officers shout orders to “crawl out” and “stop resisting” as Lewis writhes in pain on his bed, where he had been sleeping moments before.

According to the Columbus Post-Dispatch, this is the sixth police-involved shooting in Columbus in 2022 and the third to happen within an eight-day period. The continued recurrence of tragedies like this demonstrates the need for robust new approaches to policing that address racial bias and support communities rather than target them, along with redoubled efforts for racial justice. Black Americans account for less than 13% of the U.S. population but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans. Lewis is one of the 1,044 people killed in an officer-involved shooting so far this year, according to a national police-involved fatal shooting database.

The NCC calls for a complete and unbiased investigation of this and all recent police shootings in Columbus, and for those responsible to be held accountable. As peaceful protests are being planned this weekend in Ohio, our prayers are with the Columbus community for justice and with the family of Donovan Lewis as they grieve.

Previous Statements by NCC on Police Violence: