Officer Ricky Anderson is the Columbus, Ohio, police officer who shot and killed an unarmed man who was in bed with a vape pen on August 30, 2022.
Columbus police wrote in a news release: “The deceased individual in this case is identified as: Mr. Donovan Lewis, DOB: 5/14/2002. The investigation is being conducted by The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.”
A graphic body cam video was released. You can watch it below, but be aware that it’s disturbing.
Donovan Lewis “was in the back room of his apartment when CPD stormed the apartment” with a warrant, Rex Elliott, an attorney for the family, said in a news conference. “Donovan was asleep before police officers arrived and had no warning that CPD would burst into his apartment.”
The attorney described Lewis as 20 years old and an “unarmed Black man.” The lawyer called the death “reckless activity” by police that amounted to excessive, unlawful force.
“Officer Anderson opened the door and almost immediately fired a shot into the bedroom as Donovan was trying to get out of bed,” Elliott said. “Donovan was unarmed and he was abiding by police commands to come out of his room when he was shot in cold blood by officer Anderson.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Anderson Is a Veteran Officer Assigned to the K-9 Unit
In the news release, police identified Anderson as the officer involved. “The investigation into the officer involved in the shooting that occurred on Tuesday, August 30, 2022, at 3295 Sullivant Avenue continues,” they wrote in a news release.
“The officer involved is identified as: Officer Ricky Anderson #1144. Officer Anderson is a 30-year veteran with the Division. Officer Anderson is assigned to the Canine Unit.”
Anderson is on leave while the shooting is investigated, CNN reported.
Court records show that Anderson was previously involved in a vehicular homicide investigation. According to Open Payrolls, he is white and made $44.68 an hour in 2021.
Chief Elaine Bryant said in a news conference that she hoped the public would trust that police were going to be transparent in their investigation.
2. Anderson & the Other Officers Were Serving a Felony Warrant
According to the police news release, at approximately 2:28 a.m., Columbus Police officers “attempted to serve a felony warrant at an apartment, located at 3295 Sullivant Avenue. Officers located the wanted male inside of Apartment H.”
Once inside, the news release says, “officers confronted the male, at which time one Columbus Police officer discharged their weapon, striking the male. Officers rendered aid to the male until Columbus Fire medics arrived on scene and transported him to Grant hospital in critical condition.”
Lewis “was pronounced deceased by Grant at 3:19 a.m.,” the release says.
According to 10TV, Lewis was “wanted on a felony warrant for domestic violence, assault and improperly handling of a firearm.”
Chief Elaine Bryant said Anderson fired the gun when Lewis appeared to raise his hand with something in it, according to NBC4i.
“There was, like, a vape pen that was found on the bed right next to him,” Bryant said, according to the television station.
“Every day, officers are put in compromising potentially life-threatening situations in which we are required to make split-second decisions,” Bryant said, according to the television station. “As the chief, it is my job to hold my officers accountable, but it’s also my job to offer them support.”
3. The Body Cam Video Shows Anderson Open a Bedroom Door & Then Shoot Lewis
The body cam video shows the officers entering the apartment with the K-9 dog and searching it. The officer opens a bedroom door, and you see a man, Lewis, on a bed.
“He came out like this,” an officer says after the shooting.
The video concludes by showing the officer with the dog putting the animal in a squad car.
Lewis is partially getting up off the bed when the door opens. The officer checks a closet first and then opens his bedroom door.
4. ‘There Was No Justification,’ the Attorney for the Family Said
Elliott called it a “senseless death.”
He was surrounded by Lewis’ family at the news conference. On August 30, “the Columbus Police Department released body cam footage that shocked anyone who saw it. Thank goodness for body cam video.”
The attorney said there was “no question that the video tells us all.”
Three police officers and an “aggressive K-9 dog” entered the apartment. Lewis was alone and in bed,” said the lawyer.
Anderson opened the door as officers were yelling at Lewis to come out, he said.
“There was no justification … for Officer Anderson to shoot an unarmed man trying to get out of bed, as police officers were instructing him to do,” said the attorney.
The attorney played part of the body cam video.
Family members cried and hugged each other as the footage was played by the attorney. The attorney played more graphic footage of police trying to handcuff Lewis’s hands behind his back after he was shot, and telling him to “stop resisting.”
He questioned why police were executing a felony search warrant at 2 a.m. Elliott said the family wants the officer punished and held accountable.
5. Lewis Was Accused of Domestic Violence Against His Pregnant Girlfriend
The attorney said that Lewis was a “typical 20-year-old kid” with a ton of friends and people who loved him.
He had “his challenges in life” but was “overall a very good person.” The lawyer said it was “sickening” for people to attack Lewis’s character.
Court records obtained by the 10TV say that Lewis’s girlfriend, who told police she was pregnant with his child, claimed Lewis “shoved her off the chair she was sitting in, and she then rolled down a small hill.”
She told police that he had punched her in the face several days before and that “Lewis assaulting her is something that frequently happens.”
The television station reported that Lewis was accused previously of punching his mother in a different domestic violence complaint.
According to the complaint, “when the mother wouldn’t let him in the house after he took something that wasn’t his, he kicked the front door open” and started punching her, 10TV reported.
In addition, Lewis was accused of hitting another woman “with a closed fist” in 2020 and “was also wanted on a felony charge of improperly handling a firearm in a car,” the television station reported.
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