Family Of Man Killed By SWAT Officer Calls For Murder Trial

Kilyn Lewis

The family of Kilyn Lewis, a Black man killed by a SWAT officer while holding a cellphone, is urging for a murder trial against the officer.

The demand follows the release of body cam footage that provided more insight into the shooting that took place on May 23.

Lewis, 37, died after police arrived to arrest him at a condo parking lot in the Denver suburb of Aurora.

He had an arrest warrant for his alleged involvement in a shooting that occurred weeks earlier, leaving a man injured.

According to AP News, the footage showed officers commanding 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 cellphone while raising his hands in the air.

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

His family is calling for justice, with his mother, LaRhonda Jones, highlighting the persistent issue of police brutality in the area.

Elijah McClain, another Black resident of Aurora, died while detained by police in 2019. The officer involved, along with two paramedics, was convicted, and McClain’s death 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,” Jones shared during a press conference.

Jones has called upon Denver’s local prosecutor and Colorado’s state attorney general to charge the officer and proceed to trial. The family’s lawyer, Edward Hopkins Jr., stated that Lewis likely felt ambushed by the police’s approach, likening it to a gang tactic. He also argued that the video presented the police in a more favorable light.

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

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