Ohio Police Officer Who Shot Unarmed Man in Bed Charged With Murder



DATELINE: COLUMBUS, Ohio — Nearly one year after a Columbus police officer fatally shot an unarmed Black man in bed, a grand jury indicted that officer on murder and reckless homicide in the death of Donovan Lewis in the Hilltop last August and will be arraigned on Monday.

Anderson, a former K-9 officer, shot Lewis in the abdomen within a second of opening the door to an apartment bedroom, where the 20-year-old was sitting up in bed. 

Rex Elliott, attorney for Lewis’ family, said during Friday’s conference the indictment is the first step in the process “to finally hold accountable a police officer who took a young life. The reality is that there is a different justice system for citizens and a different justice system for police officers, this never should have taken this long,” said Elliott. “Unfortunately, the length of time that it has taken to indict a police officer here, it causes us all to distrust the process.”


Attorney Rex Elliott, who represents Lewis’ family, said at a news conference Friday that Anderson had racked up several complaints of excessive force during his 30-year career with the Columbus Police Department.

“He never should have been in the position to begin with to have the opportunity to take a young life like he did on Aug. 30, 2022,” Elliott said.

“There is absolutely no way in the timeframe between when the door was opened and the gun was fired that Officer Anderson perceived a potential gun in his hand, got through to his brain, and then reacted by shooting his weapon,” Elliott said.

Columbus police say officers had gone to the apartment around 2 a.m. to arrest Lewis on multiple warrants including domestic violence, assault and felony improper handling of a firearm. Police took two other men in the apartment into custody without incident. A police dog was unleashed in the apartment during the search.


Officer Anderson was placed on administrative leave shortly after he killed Lewis. Weeks after Lewis’ family filed the wrongful death lawsuit, Columbus police announced Anderson retired in bad standing due to ongoing criminal and administrative investigations.

Anderson’s personnel file shows previous department policy violations before his fatal interaction with Lewis.

He was found to be out of policy nine times:

April 2006: Violation of police rules, orders

January 2013: Violation of police rules, orders

January 2018: Internal investigation

July 2018: Use of taser

December 2018: Internal investigation

February 2019: Internal investigation

February 2019: Internal investigation

March 2019: Internal investigation

December 2019: Internal investigation

He also had 10 citizen complaints, but only two were sustained.

According to his personnel file, Anderson was fired and reinstated in 2004. He was at the center of an investigation after he was accused of cashing special-duty checks for a job he didn’t work. Criminal charges were filed against Anderson but were later dropped after he repaid BankOne and went through a diversion program.


As usual the Fraternal Order of Police is supporting their cop.

In response to Anderson’s indictment Friday, the Fraternal Order of Police issued the following statement:

“While the grand jury plays an important role in our system of justice, the grand jurors only hear the evidence the prosecutor wants it to hear. There is no defense attorney, no cross examination, no judge, essentially no rules,” said Brian Steel, the FOP’s executive vice president. “An indictment is far easier to secure than a conviction, which may also explain why Franklin County Prosecutor Tyack appointed special prosecutors to this case – to save his office the embarrassment of another acquittal.”


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