Ricky Anderson, Columbus officer who fatally shot Donovan Lewis, retires in bad standing

Columbus police officer Ricky Anderson, who fatally shot Donovan Lewis last August, retired from the Columbus Division of Police effective Friday, Columbus police said in a statement.

Anderson has retired in bad standing due to the ongoing criminal and administrative investigations into Lewis’ death, Columbus police said in a statement. Anderson, alongside other officers on scene, also faces a wrongful death civil lawsuit from Lewis’ family in addition to official investigations.

Anderson was placed on administrative leave following the fatal shooting. Rex Elliott, Michael Wright and Ben Cooper, attorneys for the family of Donovan Lewis, had previously called for Anderson’s termination from the department.

In a statement, the attorneys said Lewis’ relatives were “outraged” that the city allowed Anderson to retire after the family “had repeatedly asked since his tragic death.”

“This family deserves so much better,” the statement said. “Mr. Lewis’ family and our community will not forget about him and the way in which city leaders have so poorly handled this totally unnecessary killing.”

Columbus Division of Police policy states that the police chief determines whether good standing status will be given to an officer who retires or resigns while facing criminal charges or an internal investigation that could lead to termination or a suspension of more than 120 hours, Brian Steel, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #9 vice president, said on Twitter.

Officers had gone to Lewis’ apartment on the 3200 block of Sullivant Avenue in the Hilltop neighborhood to attempt to arrest him on outstanding warrants for charges of domestic violence, assault and a felony charge of improper handling of a firearm. Anderson fired a single shot about one second after opening Lewis’ bedroom door, fatally striking him.

What happened the night Donovan Lewis was killed

Donovan Lewis

When Columbus police went to his apartment on Aug. 30, they had multiple arrest warrants for Lewis, including misdemeanor charges filed in connection with an Aug. 10 domestic violence and assault incident involving Lewis’ girlfriend, court records show.

Police body camera video shows Lewis did not answer repeated knocks on his Sullivant Avenue apartment door by officers there to serve a warrant on him for about 10 minutes. One of two other young men inside the apartment eventually let officers in.

More: Here’s what we know about the fatal Columbus police shooting of Donovan Lewis

Anderson unleashed the K-9 he was handling and the dog turned a corner in the apartment, where it appeared to encounter a person who audibly expressed surprise. The bedroom door to the apartment can be heard closing.

Anderson called the K-9 back and leashed the dog, then entered the apartment with at least two other officers while warning they would release the dog.

Anderson and a police sergeant approached the closed bedroom door and Anderson leashed the K-9.

Anderson opened the bedroom door as Knox yelled “hands” and pointed his weapon with a flashlight at Lewis, who began to sit up in bed. Within a second of the door opening and the command, Anderson leaned around into the open door and shot once, striking Lewis in the abdomen, bodycam video shows.

Lewis was holding in his left hand what Police Chief Elaine Bryant said later turned out to be a vape pen. Knox did not fire his weapon.

Who is Ricky Anderson?

Anderson has been a Columbus police officer since 1991, The Dispatch previously reported.

The Dispatch reported in 2003 that Anderson was indicted on charges of theft in office for taking pay for guarding a bank when he wasn’t actually there. He admitted to the theft in 2004 and completed a Common Pleas Court diversion program, which resulted in his record being cleared. He was later fired by the division over the theft.

A federal arbitrator, Joseph Alutto, of Upper Arlington, reinstated Anderson in November 2004, saying the city should have given Anderson a 30-day suspension rather than terminating him.

At the time, Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9 said the city had “overdisciplined a mistake made by what would otherwise be considered an outstanding officer,” according to The Dispatch’s reporting.

Anderson has had 10 complaints filed against him during his 30-year career, according to his police Internal Affairs Bureau history.

Minute-by-minute: A timeline of the Columbus police fatal shooting of Donovan Lewis

In 2020, a complaint related to an incident in 2019 was sustained, according to the history. However, no additional details were immediately available about that incident.

This is a developing story and will be updated.



This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Columbus officer who fatally shot Donovan Lewis retires in bad standing

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