COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus police officer who fatally shot Donovan Lewis has retired in bad standing, the Columbus Division of Police announced Friday evening.
According to a CPD press release, Anderson is in bad standing because of the ongoing criminal and administrative investigations into Lewis’ death. A Columbus police spokesperson told NBC4 that Anderson’s bad standing means after leaving the force, he cannot have a gun or his CPD badge.
The retirement comes weeks after Lewis’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Anderson and other Columbus police officers who attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Lewis on Aug. 30, 2022.
A statement from Lewis family attorneys Rex Elliot, Michael Wright and Ben Cooper called CPD’s decision to announce Anderson’s retirement just before the weekend “cowardly,” especially after the family had repeatedly called for his firing.
“This family deserves so much better,” the statement read. “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. We will be steadfast in our pursuit of justice for Mr. Lewis and his family.”
Anderson’s attorneys declined to comment.
Anderson and other officers had entered an apartment in the 3200 block of Sullivant Avenue looking for Lewis. The 20-year-old sat up in bed when Anderson opened the room’s door. Within a second of opening the door and while also handling a K9, Anderson shot Lewis. An autopsy report determined Lewis died within minutes of being shot through the abdomen.
NBC4 has an edited and redacted version of the body camera footage below. Some may find its contents disturbing.
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 Lewis instead of moving his body around.
Anderson, who worked as an officer for 30 years, was previously fired from the Columbus Division of Police in 2004. However, he and the Fraternal Order of Police challenged the firing, according to a Department of Public Safety spokesman.
Anderson had been terminated for taking pay for guarding a bank when he wasn’t there. In a legal dispute over the firing, the arbitrator ruled the City of Columbus couldn’t prove which hours he didn’t work. The arbitrator then reinstated his employment with CPD within the same year, saying Anderson should have received a 30-day suspension instead.
Rebecca Duran, Lewis’ mother, told NBC4 she’s frustrated that charges haven’t been filed against Anderson. It’s been nearly three months since Franklin County Prosecutor Gary Tyack announced in December that a grand jury will decide whether to prosecute Anderson. Tyack appointed special prosecutors H. Tim Merkle and Gary Shroyer to present the case to a Franklin County grand jury, who will decide whether the evidence shows probable cause and warrants criminal charges against Anderson.