THE THIN BLUE LINE
Columbus police officer Ricky Anderson, who fatally shot Donovan Lewis last August, retired from the Columbus Division of Police effective Friday, Columbus police said in a statement.
Anderson has retired in bad standing due to the ongoing criminal and administrative investigations into Lewis’ death, Columbus police said in a statement. Anderson, alongside other officers on scene, also faces a wrongful death civil lawsuit from Lewis’ family in addition to official investigations.
Anderson was placed on paid administrative leave following the fatal shooting on August 30. Rex Elliott, Michael Wright and Ben Cooper, attorneys for the family of Donovan Lewis, had previously called for Anderson’s termination from the department. In a statement, the attorneys said the Lewis’ relatives were “outraged” that the city allowed Anderson to retire after the family “had repeatedly asked since his tragic death.”
The family of Lewis filed a lawsuit last month in Franklin County against the officers who were serving the warrant.
“We see absolutely no reason why this case has not been submitted to the grand jury and an indictment secured,” Rex Elliott, an attorney for the family, said at a press conference announcing the legal action. “The coroner’s office did a detailed investigation and concluded that this was a homicide. The entire world knows that this was an unjustifiable killing.”
“Since the shooting death of Mr. Lewis, Anderson hasn’t been fired or indicted. Instead, he has enjoyed a more than six month vacation at taxpayers’ expense. And then, in cowardly fashion, the city of Columbus released information about his ‘retirement’ after 5 p.m. on a Friday.”
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.
Ex officer Ricky Anderson