New city watchdog to investigate series of police shootings
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The new police department watchdog for Ohio’s capital city will investigate three recent police shootings, including the killing of a man shot in his bed.
The probes by Inspector General Jacqueline Hendricks follows a vote by the Columbus Civilian Police Review Board on Tuesday directing Hendricks’ office to look into the shootings, including the Aug. 30 death of Donovan Lewis, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Lewis, 20, was shot less than a second after Columbus officer Ricky Anderson opened the door of the bedroom where Lewis was sleeping. An attorney representing Lewis has called the shooting reckless and senseless. Officers were at the apartment trying to arrest Lewis on multiple warrants.
Hendricks’ office will also investigate the Aug. 24 nonfatal shooting of a 17-year-old boy and an Aug. 22 incident when a Columbus officer fired at — but did not hit — two fleeing suspects. The reviews will start after the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation completes its examination of the first two shootings. The state declined to investigate the Aug. 22 incident.
Hendricks will determine whether to recommend that administrative misconduct charges be filed against officers involved in the shootings. The civilian review board has the final say on whether those recommendations are forwarded to the Columbus public safety director or police chief for review and possible disciplinary action.
Hendricks says her office has opened 50 investigations into complaints of alleged misconduct by Columbus police, including 10 alleged cases of excessive force, in the new office’s first two months, the Dispatch reported.