Fargo Teen Wants Answers About Her Father’s Death

Next month is the 18th anniversary of Lionel Lewis' death.

FARGO, N.D. – “Just tell him that I’m sorry. That was a horrible way to pass, it shouldn’t have happened. He was only 26 years old, and he definitely deserved a longer life than what he was given,” says Aniliese Meyer.

George Floyd’s death has re-opened some old wounds for Aniliese Meyer.

Her dad, Lionel A. Lewis died while in police custody on July 14, 2002 in Virginia, Minnesota when she was just a year old.

“He kind of got into an argument with his girlfriend at the time, and a neighbor called the police for a domestic dispute call,” she says.

Meyer says he was later left in the back of the squad car on a hot summer day while the three Hibbing police officers involved went to take statements from people.

“He was unresponsive for an hour and a half before he was given any medical attention, so that’s kind of just upsetting because the hot car, they didn’t even have it running, nobody had checked on him in that amount of time,”  Meyer says.

According to the certificate of death, the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Lewis’ death consistent with agitated delirium due to multiple drug use including cocaine.

Meyer disagrees.

“I believe that my father died as a result of a kind of a combination of being suffocating in the back of a hot car, being restrained in the way that he was, that is shown to commonly cause asphyxiation, and just like being mazed, because I know that causes a lot of breathing problems,” she says.

The marches that have arisen from George Floyd’s death has inspired Meyer to create a petition to reopen the investigation into his death.

She says through the emotional rollercoaster that she has gone through as she is forced to relive some unwelcome memories, she knows her dad is watching over her.

“No matter what I’m doing he’s with me. And when I’m struggling he gives me the extra strength I need, and I think that he says what we’re doing and I definitely think he is so proud of us,” Meyer adds.

Here is the link if you’d like to sign the petition.

Categories: Community, Local News, Minnesota News