Police: Officer who shot black man retired ‘in bad standing’

An Ohio police officer who shot dead a black man as he lay in bed in his home last summer is off duty

Columbus, Ohio– An Ohio police officer who shot dead a black man as he lay in bed in his home last summer is off duty.

The Columbus Police Department said Friday night the officer retired that day and “retired in poor condition due to the ongoing criminal and regulatory investigation into the death of Donovan Lewis.”

A police department spokesman told reporters that retirement in disrepute means an officer receives a pension but cannot keep a weapon or police badge after leaving the force. Lawyers for the officer, who has been on duty for three decades, declined to comment, the station said.

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

The Columbus Police Department said officers came to arrest Lewis on multiple warrants, including domestic violence, assault and felonies, improper use of a firearm. No weapon was found in his apartment. No charges were filed in Lewis’ death.

Lawyers for the Lewis family called the ministry’s announcement of the retirement Friday night just before the weekend “cowardly,” particularly because the family had repeatedly called for the officer to be fired.

“This family deserves so much better,” the attorneys said in a statement.

The Franklin County Attorney’s Office has announced that special prosecutors will review the attorney general’s investigation and present the case to a grand jury to determine if the charges are merited. Prosecutors said last month investigations into law enforcement’s use of force can be time-consuming and they sympathized with the family’s frustration, but they are “committed to achieving justice on this matter.”

The family has filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the city and the five white officers who are serving the warrant, charging the officer who fired battery, dereliction of duty, willful and negligent infliction of emotional distress, failure to render assistance and violation of Lewis’s constitutional rights. The complaint also accuses officers of violating a measure requiring officers to provide prompt medical assistance to an injured suspect.

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