COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The mother of Donovan Lewis spoke in front of the Columbus City Council, urging members to take action.
Rebecca Duran attended Monday’s council meeting, just days after the Columbus Division of Police announced that Ricky Anderson, the officer who fatally shot Lewis, retired from the department in “bad standing,” meaning he won’t be able to keep his gun and badge once he leaves the force, but will still receive his pension.
Anderson shot and killed Lewis inside a west Columbus apartment in August 2022.
Duran was outraged when she learned on Friday that Anderson retired from the force, which prompted her appearance in council’s chambers.
“We’re going to keep on coming and showing up until we can get something actually done, not just promises,” she said.
On Aug. 30, Anderson and other Columbus police officers entered Lewis’ apartment. Within one second of opening Lewis’ bedroom door, Anderson shot Lewis. An autopsy report determined Lewis died within minutes of being shot through the abdomen. Now, almost six months later, Lewis’ family is still waiting for answers.
“That’s entirely too long as the family, or any family, in our same situation,” Duran said.
As it stands right now, there have been no criminal charges filed against Anderson.
“Bottom line is I don’t have justice for my son,” Duran said.
At Monday’s meeting, Duran expressed her frustration with the lack of information she’s received from the city since her son’s death. She said she has requested a meeting with the mayor’s office and Columbus Chief of Police Elaine Bryant multiple times to no avail.
“The community liaison responded and he finally said, ‘I’m unable to get a meeting for you,’” Duran said.
But it’s not for a lack of effort on her part.
“I would say well over, and this is just a lowball number, over 100 phone calls,” she said.
Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin offered his condolences but said there has to be space for decisions to be made.
“We have to be careful because I know there is ongoing litigation right now,” he said. “That’s so terrible and unfulfilling to you as a mother.”
In December, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation sent the case to Franklin County Prosecutor Gary Tyack. The special prosecutors assigned to the case were to present it to a grand jury, something that hasn’t happened yet.
Duran said it’s the same no matter where she looks.
“Everyone points the finger at the next person, continually passing the buck, and so that’s one of the things we would like to see a change, a major policy change,” she said.
Duran is calling for a more timely approach to answers and clarity for families in these types of situations.
“There is no response, there is no action,” she said. “It’s just filler.”
Duran said she is undeterred and will not stop until there is justice for her son.
“It just has solidified my call for justice, but not just for our family, but for any family in our situation,” she said. “Like, it’s not just us. We’re just one of the more recent.”