Police: Officer who shot Black man retired 'in bad standing'

An Ohio police officer who shot and killed a Black man as he lay in bed in his home last summer is no longer on the force

ByThe Associated Press
March 4, 2023, 11:29 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio police officer who shot and killed a Black man as he lay in bed in his home last summer is no longer on the force.

Columbus police said Friday evening that the officer had retired as of that day and “retired in bad standing due to the ongoing criminal and administrative investigations into the death of Donovan Lewis.”

A police department spokesperson told reporters that retirement in bad standing means an officer will receive a pension but cannot retain a gun or police badge after leaving the force. Attorneys for the officer, who had been on the force for three decades, declined comment, the station said.

Lewis, 20, died at a hospital following the shooting in the early morning hours of Aug. 30. Police bodycam footage shows he was shot once in the abdomen, less than a second after an officer opened his bedroom door. Lewis appeared to be holding a vape pen, but no weapon.

Columbus police said officers had come to arrest Lewis on multiple warrants, including domestic violence, assault and felony improper handling of a firearm. No weapon was found in his home. No charges have been filed in the death of Lewis.

Lewis family attorneys called the department's announcement of the retirement on Friday evening just before the weekend “cowardly," especially because the family has repeatedly called for the officer's termination.

“This family deserves so much better,” the attorneys said in a statement, saying city leaders have “poorly handled this totally unnecessary killing” and vowing to be “steadfast in our pursuit of justice.”

The Franklin County prosecutor's office has said special prosecutors will review the state attorney general's investigation and present the case to a grand jury to determine whether charges are warranted. The prosecutors said last month that reviews of use of force by law enforcement can be time-consuming and they sympathized with the frustration of the family, but they were "dedicated to achieving justice in this matter.”

The family has filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the city and the five white officers serving the warrant, accusing the officer who fired of battery, breach of duty, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, failure to render aid and violating Lewis’ constitutional rights. The complaint also accuses officers of violating a measure requiring officers to render immediate medical attention to an injured suspect.

Related Topics