Austin police officer faces murder charges in Mike Ramos trial.
The eagerly anticipated murder trial for APD officer Christopher Taylor is set to commence this Monday in Austin, Texas. The charges leveled against Taylor relate to the shooting death of 42-year old Michael Ramos that occurred in the parking lot of a southeast Austin apartment complex on Pleasant Valley Road.
The incident that triggered the fateful sequence of events occurred in April of 2020 following a call received by Austin police reporting that two individuals were illegally producing meth in a car. The caller further stated that a firearm was present at the scene, but police were unable to locate any such weapon.
Video footage documenting the incident shows Ramos emphatically lifting his shirt to demonstrate that he was not carrying a gun, and vocalizing the same sentiment. Despite his clear protestations, an officer proceeded to shoot Ramos with less lethal rounds while he stood with his hands in the air. Ramos made a dash for safety in his vehicle, but Officer Taylor opened fire, tragically shooting him in the back of the head, leading to his swift death.
In the wake of the shooting, Ramos’ family has continued to press their claims that his fourth amendment rights were violated, a position that was upheld by a judge who dismissed Officer Taylor’s motion to dismiss the civil lawsuit filed against him. Ramos’ family has also leveled claims against the City of Austin, accusing the Austin Police Department of discriminatory practices.
This will mark the first of two murder charges that Taylor is set to face. Taylor, together with another officer, was indicted in July of 2019 for the death of Dr. Mauris Desilva, who was in the throes of a mental health crisis when he was confronted by APD officers. Police maintain that DeSilva brandished a knife while approaching them, thereby posing a threat to their safety, while the veracity of this explanation has been called into question. Ultimately, DeSilva was fatally wounded, succumbing to his injuries after being transported to the hospital.