COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A grand jury will decide whether to prosecute the Columbus police officer that shot and killed an unarmed Black man, Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Gary Tyack said Thursday.
The state agency has turned over its investigative report on the shooting death of Donovan Lewis to special prosecutors H. Tim Merkle and Gary Shroyer. The pair, who Tyack said he appointed, will review the report and present the case to a Franklin County grand jury. They will evaluate whether the evidence shows probable cause and warrants criminal charges against Officer Ricky Anderson.
Body camera video showed Anderson shot and killed Lewis while he and other officers served an arrest warrant at an apartment, after Lewis had been accused of domestic violence. While wrangling a K9 and within one second of opening the door, Anderson shot Lewis as he sat up in a bed against the back corner of the room.
NBC4 has an edited and redacted version of the body camera footage below. Some may find its contents disturbing.
Columbus Division of Police Chief Elaine Bryant said Anderson fired his gun when Lewis appeared to raise a hand with something in it. Moving frame-by-frame through the video showed Lewis raising his right hand toward officers, while he put his left hand back toward a pillow.
“There was, like, a vape pen that was found on the bed right next to him,” Bryant said.
Lewis’ family and their attorney have since said Anderson violated Andre’s Law during the attempted arrest and deadly shooting. The group said officers should have immediately rendered medical aid to the shooting victim, instead of moving his body around.
When NBC4 reviewed Anderson’s personnel records, it found he had no violations related to the use of force. The records did show that CPD previously terminated Anderson, but he won his job back. The officer had been fired for taking pay for guarding a bank when he wasn’t there. However, the arbitrator in the case reinstated Anderson, claiming the city couldn’t prove which hours he didn’t work.