Michael Ramos had his hands in the air when an Austin police officer fired a bean bag at him, prompting the 42-year-old man to step into his car and drive away.
Another cop then fired several real rounds from his rifle, killing Ramos who was unarmed.
That cop, Christopher Taylor, claimed he feared that Ramos would use his car as a weapon against the cops. But the video shows Ramos was driving away from the cops when he was killed, trying not be killed himself.
In fact, the weapon that Ramos supposedly had that drew the attention of police did not exist – a detail Austin police did not acknowledge until nearly three weeks after the shooting which took place on April 24.
And police did not release body cam footage of the incident until last week, three months after the shooting that has led to protests in Austin.
Police also released the 911 from a person claiming that Ramos was sitting in the front seat of his car, pointing a gun at a woman who was sitting in the passenger’s seat. The caller claimed the two were using methamphetatime but police have made no mention of finding any in the car.
Police have altered the voice of the caller, making it impossible to identify or determine the caller’s gender, in order to “maintain the integrity of the investigation.”
Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said her office has been investigating whether to file charges against Taylor but will present its findings to the next district attorney who takes office in January after beating Moore in an election after running on a platform to hold cops accountable for their crimes.
The person who made the 911 call may also face charges, according to the Austin Statesman.
Travis County Attorney David Escamilla, whose office prosecutes misdemeanor offenses, confirmed that there have been discussions about the veracity of the 911 call and whether a crime might have been committed.
“We’ve been working with the district attorney’s office with regards to details of any misdemeanors, including false reports, that may be a result of the incident,” Escamilla said.
The Austin Police Department has jurisdiction in the case and could make an arrest if investigators determine the call was intentionally false. Police declined to comment on the apparent discrepancy between the report about the gun and evidence found at the scene.
“That’s part of the ongoing investigation,” a spokeswoman said Tuesday.
The identity of the 911 caller has not been made public and might not come out unless charges are filed. The caller’s voice in the recording available to the public has been altered to make it more difficult to identify. Police officials say doing so was necessary to maintain the integrity of the investigation.
Making a false report is typically a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in county jail. It’s a Class B misdemeanor when the false report is made to an officer.
A total of eight cops responded to the scene but bodycam videos from only five cops was released. Below is the video released by police and above is the shortened edited video that shows the shooting and contains a portion of the 911 call.
Read the in-custody death report where police claimed they feared Ramos was going to use his car as a weapon.