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Ricky Anderson: Ohio cop who fatally shot unarmed Black man was fired and reinstated 18 years ago

Ricky Anderson was accused of cashing special duty checks for a job he didn't work and the charges were dropped after he repaid BankOne
Donovan Lewis was shot dead by a police officer who was fired and reinstated 18 years ago (GoFundMe, YouTube/TheColumbusDispatch)
Donovan Lewis was shot dead by a police officer who was fired and reinstated 18 years ago (GoFundMe, YouTube/TheColumbusDispatch)

Warning: Graphic content, readers’ discretion advised

COLUMBUS, OHIO: Columbus police officer Ricky Anderson, who fatally shot a 20-year-old Black man, Donovan Lewis, on Tuesday, August 30 early morning, reportedly has a tricky past which makes his recent actions even more outrageous. Anderson, in an attempt to serve Lewis with an arrest warrant, ended up shooting him which was captured in the bodycam footage. But it is now revealed that he was fired from the force almost 18 years ago before being reinstated.

As per the Officer Ricky Anderson Personnel File uploaded on Scribd, the cop was terminated by Columbus Public Safety in May 2004 and was reinstated the next month. Columbus Public Safety says, "Officer Anderson’s employment as a Division of Police Officer was terminated in 2004 by Chief James G Jackson, but the FOP, and Officer Anderson, challenged his termination, and ultimately an arbitrator chose to reinstate Officer Anderson in 2004. The allegation that was the basis of the termination was not related to a use of force." The cop was accused of cashing special duty checks for a job he didn't work. Charges against him were ultimately dropped as he repaid BankOne and went through a diversion program. 


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Anderson was supposed to serve Lewis with an arrest warrant as he was wanted on charges of assault, domestic violence, and a felony of improperly handling a firearm. Tatiana Crowder, Lewis' sister, upon getting aware of Anderson's shady past, told The Daily Beast, "If we did these kinds of things in any regular job, you wouldn’t have your job anymore. Like, that should be a deterrent to maybe not shoot people because you’re not getting a paid vacation at your house." 


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Mark Collins, one of Anderson’s lawyers, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday, September 14, "We can’t comment on a personnel file that we have not seen. Those are labor-related issues. Regardless of what is in his personnel file, nothing in there has anything to do with the split-second decision he was forced to make." On the other hand, Rex Elliott, an attorney representing the Lewis family questioned Anderson's credibility as an officer and why the system let him carry a firearm in the first place. Elliott also slammed the police for not caring for Lewis' family and exhibiting "complete disregard for the family." Elliot said, "It’s stunning that they did not have more compassion for the family."

Anderson joined the force in December 1991 and has received five special commendations and First Aid/Life Saving awards. While the personnel file reveals his past, it also shows the several compliments he has received from his fellow officers and seniors alike. The officer received a special commendation for performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a man in full cardiac in 1993 and for finding a 78-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease with his K9 in 2012. He was also awarded the Silver Cross Award in March 2012 after Anderson, with the help of another officer, saved a woman from a burning mobile home on South High Street and arrested her boyfriend at the scene. He received another special commendation in 2016 performing "a valuable police service that demonstrated special faithfulness and perseverance." He saved a woman overdosing in July 2017 and received a First Aid/Life Saving Award.