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‘The Result of a Reckless Act’: Ohio Police Officer Charged with Murder for Fatally Shooting Black Man In Bed

A former Ohio cop, Ricky Anderson, who had served for 30 years with the Columbus Division of Police, has been indicted by a local grand jury for the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Donovan Lewis almost a year ago.

Anderson faces charges of murder and reckless homicide in connection with the shooting that occurred on August 30, 2022, on Sullivant Avenue.

Donovan Lewis Shot By Police
Donovan Lewis captured on video within seconds of waking up before he was fatally shot by officers ( Screenshot/Bodycam Footage)

On that day, officers were at the scene to apprehend Lewis, who had multiple warrants, including charges related to domestic violence and assault.

Body-camera footage from the incident showed Anderson opening the door to a bedroom in an apartment and immediately firing at Lewis, who was in bed. No weapon was found on Lewis, who appeared to be holding a vape pen at the time.

Lewis was handcuffed, taken out of the apartment, and received life-saving measures, but he succumbed to the gunshot wound at a nearby hospital. The coroner’s report showed that Lewis died within minutes of being shot in the abdomen, causing damage to internal organs before the bullet lodged in his pelvis.

Toxicology testing indicated the presence of nicotine and THC in his blood, but it did not confirm whether he was under the influence at the time of the shooting.

The officer had a history of citizen complaints, including issues related to the use of force and violating police rules, dating back to 2001. He retired from the police department in March 2023, in bad standing, due to the ongoing criminal and administrative investigation.

Robert Gresham, one of the family’s attorneys, said, “The family has been asking for officer Anderson to be fired since August 2022, when the shooting happened, and it was ‘cowardly’ for him to retire.”

A warrant has now been issued for Anderson’s arrest.

Anderson’s attorney, Mark Collins, said the case should revolve around the reasons behind Anderson’s decision to use deadly force and not if he used it.

“As we progress through litigation, the evidence will show that it was because he was justified in doing so,” Collins said.

The Franklin County indictment comes after a thorough investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, The case was presented to the county prosecutor’s office in December 2022.

Lewis’ mother, Rebecca Duran was relieved by the grand jury’s decision, stating that they have always believed Anderson broke the law by shooting her unarmed son while he lay in his bed.

“CPD bodycam video showed this clearly, and nothing has changed in almost a year,” attorneys representing Duran said.

“Although Mr. Lewis’ family is pleased that his killer will soon face a jury of his peers, they are incredibly disappointed that it took so long to come to this conclusion in the first place,” they continued. “Mr. Lewis’ family understands that although there are many good officers doing their best to protect citizens when an officer violates policy or breaks the law, they must be held accountable.”

“As prosecutors pursue Mr. Anderson in the criminal case, we will continue to fight for justice and accountability in our civil case. Our hope is that no other parent has to bury their child as the result of a reckless act by a member of law enforcement.”

However, the Columbus chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police argued that the grand jury had a slanted view of the evidence in the case.

“While the grand jury plays an important role in our system of justice, the grand jurors only hear the evidence the prosecutor wants it to hear,” union executive vice president Brian Steel, said in part. “There is no defense attorney, no cross-examination, no judge, essentially no rules.” 

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