COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio’s capital city will no longer serve warrants overnight on certain suspects in the wake of last month’s fatal police shooting.
The Columbus Dispatch reported Friday that the new policy was noted in an internal memo issued Thursday by city Police Chief Elaine Bryant. The policy involves preplanned warrants, wherein the only reason a police officer goes to a specific site is to serve a warrant.
The new policy prohibits city officers from serving preplanned arrest warrants at private residences between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. for misdemeanor warrants — including those related to domestic violence — or nonviolent felony warrants, unless approved by a lieutenant or higher rank. It does not apply to SWAT teams or other tactical units, the newspaper reported.
The policy change comes in the wake of the fatal Aug. 30 shooting of Donovan Lewis, which occurred shortly after 2 a.m. as officers were serving warrants for Lewis’ arrest on a felony weapons charge and misdemeanor domestic violence and assault counts. Lewis, 20, was shot less than a second after an officer opened the door of a bedroom where Lewis was sleeping.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is reviewing the matter.
An attorney representing Lewis’ family attorney had called for an end to overnight warrant serves unless there’s dangerous, exigent circumstances, saying Lewis’ death was avoidable. The newspaper said police officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the timing of the policy change.