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Attorney Claims Officer Ricky Anderson, Who Fatally Shot Unarmed Donovan Lewis in Bed, Believed His Life Was in Danger

It seems like there is no effort to create credible explanations anymore.

Last week, it was reported by BOSSIP that Officer Ricky Anderson shot an unarmed Black man in the early hours of August 30, in Columbus, Ohio. The police arrived at Donovan Lewis’ apartment at 2 a.m. to serve a felony domestic assault warrant. The 20-year-old was unarmed in bed with only a vape pen when Anderson fatally shot him. According to WSYX, the officer fired immediately at the unarmed man because he felt his life was threatened.

An attorney representing the Columbus officer who shot and killed Donovan Lewis while serving a warrant publicly laid the groundwork for a defense if a grand jury decides to indict him for Lewis’s death. https://t.co/7OfiglaKuo

— WSYX ABC 6 (@wsyx6) September 2, 2022

“He was devastated that he was placed in a situation where he had to use lethal force. As a parent himself, his heart goes out to the Lewis family. The human eye captures things differently than a body camera. There are different angles and stuff like that. But tactically everything that was done prior is sound. Everything that was done was by his training,” according to defense attorney Mark Collins.

“Sometimes they are in a situation where they have to make a split-second decision. And in this situation, Anderson believed what he saw was a gun, and so that is why he fired because he believed his life was in danger,” he predictably said.

This convenient narrative from a trigger-happy cop who mistook a vape pen for a gun stands as an example of why there is a call for defunding and even abolishing the police. It shouldn’t require massive budgets and military equipment to resort to lethal force without proper assessment.

“Of course, he was mistaken, that it was not a gun,” Collins continued. “But was that mistake reasonable? The Supreme Court cases and the jury instructions give deference to police officers in these type of situations because all across America everyday officers are in those situations.”

This further underscores the need for reform. Law enforcement failed to prevent the crime leading to the warrant. The system repeatedly allows officers to evade responsibility for their actions and fatal errors. Officers should be held to a stricter standard with increased accountability compared to civilians. Nurses, paramedics, and social workers navigate through similar dangerous situations without the authority to take lives out of fear.

Rex Elliott, the attorney for the Lewis family, stated there was no justification for shooting Donavan. No weapons were found at the scene. “Officer Anderson opened the door and almost immediately fired a shot into the bedroom as Donovan was trying to get out of bed,” he explained.

While two others were already in custody, officers continued to look for Lewis inside the apartment. Anderson’s lawyer defended Lewis’ death by claiming he didn’t promptly obey commands. It is puzzling that being slow to react out of fear for one’s life results in a death sentence for a Black man, yet police officers use the same justification to avoid charges for killing.

“Our client definitely saw something in his hand and case law in these type of cases indicate that you don’t even need something in the hand. I believe in this situation the protocols that were followed were textbook,” Collins said.

“Meaning the officers who were there initially to serve the lawful warrant did what they did. They believed someone was in there. They didn’t just go barging in. They didn’t go in a rush. They said what is our next step and tactically speaking the next step is to try to use the canine.”

He continued, “Knowing what Rick Anderson knew at that time, when in that situation, based on the totality of the situation, any reasonable officer could do the same type of action.”

If textbooks assert that police can enter a residence late at night and fatally shoot frightened occupants for any reason, even if they are not at the correct address, mere reforms won’t suffice.

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