police shooting, SWAT, Black man

Family of Man Killed By SWAT Officer Call For Murder Trial

The family of Kilyn Lewis, who died after a SWAT officer shot him in May, urge for the officer to be charged.

The family of Kilyn Lewis, a Black man killed by a SWAT officer while holding a cellphone, are urging for a murder trial against the officer. The request comes as body cam footage revealed more of the shooting that occurred on May 23.

Lewis died after the police arrived to arrest him at a condo parking lot in the Denver suburb of Aurora. The 37-year-old had an arrest warrant for his alleged involvement in a shooting that occurred weeks prior and left a man injured.

According to AP News, the footage revealed officers yelling at Lewis to get on the ground. Shared with the public by interim Police Chief Heather Morris, the clip showed an officer shooting at Lewis as he began to bend his knees. Lewis held a cell phone while raising his hands in the air.

“I don’t have nothing,” Lewis yelled repeatedly in the video.

His family calls for justice, as his mother touched on the police brutality problem in the area. Elijah McClain, who resided in the Denver suburb of Aurora, died while detained by a police officer in 2019. The officer, alongside two paramedics, was convicted for his involvement. McClain’s death also sparked Black Lives Matter protests nationwide.

“This is not just about one officer or one incident. It’s about a broken system that devalues Black lives,” shared LaRhonda Jones, Lewis’ mother, during a press conference on the matter.

Jones called upon Denver’s local prosecutor and Colorado’s state attorney general to charge the officer and go to trial. The family’s lawyer, Edward Hopkins Jr., also stated that Lewis probably felt ambushed by the police’s approach, which he compared to gangs. Moreover, he argued that the video placed the police involved in a more favorable light.

“They wanted to start the conversation the way they wanted to,” explained Hopkins.

The officer’s identity remains under wraps as an investigation into the incident continues.

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