AUSTIN, Texas - It's been six months since Mike Ramos was shot and killed during an officer-involved shooting by Austin police officer Christopher Taylor, who was previously under investigation for shooting another man months prior.
Since April 24th, Brenda Ramos has been visiting her son’s grave every Sunday. “I can feel him. I feel him,” she said.
Six months ago, APD got a call about a man in a car with a gun possibly doing drugs. The man was 41-year-old Mike Ramos, who was then shot and killed by Taylor on scene. APD later disclosed Ramos was unarmed.
“Its done, shown, and said. it's murder and it takes this long, you know, it doesn’t have to be this long because I'm hurting. I'm suffering knowing that that officer he killed somebody and then [killed] my son,” said Brenda Ramos.
She is referring to an officer-involved shooting that happened in July 2019 where three APD officers tased, shot, and killed Dr. Mauris DeSilva as he was having a mental health crisis. Taylor was also involved in that case.
“I just, I couldn't believe it. I was like that's the same officer who shot and killed Dr. Mauris DeSilva,” said Brad Vinson, attorney for the DeSilva family.
Just 4 months before the Ramos shooting, attorneys filed a petition calling for a use-of-force investigation of all three officers involved in the death of DeSilva. The petition called for evidence to be released.
“With that point, they had continued to say that the case was under investigation, and they weren't able to give us any evidence,” said Vinson.
After some back and forth, the City gave APD until May 2020 or until the investigation was complete to release the evidence. Vinson says it was while they were waiting, he heard about the Ramos shooting.
“So here we are in a scenario where the City is saying that this case is still under investigation, that they're not able to give us any evidence because it's under investigation, but one of the officers involved in our case is out on the street with a gun in his hand shooting and killing Mike Ramos,” he said.
FOX 7 Austin asked APD if Taylor was still under investigation for the DeSilva case and why he was on duty the day Ramos died. APD responded:
"The Austin Police Department works hard to ensure and maintain the safety of the Austin community. Each critical incident is evaluated based on its own unique set of circumstances. There is a process in place to determine the readiness of the officer(s) to return to full duty to continue to serve citizens. In that case, it was determined that all officers involved could return to full duty status.”
Most Travis County officer-involved shooting cases plan to be presented by the new District Attorney who takes the seat in January 2021. In the meantime, Brenda Ramos says she will continue her fight for justice. “They asked me how do you do it? I say I do it for my son,” she said.
APD also commented on the status of both the Ramos case and DeSilva case:
“The Austin Police Department takes this investigation very seriously and we remain committed to transparency throughout the process. The APD Special Investigations Unit (SIU) and Texas Rangers have completed their portions of the investigation and are awaiting documentation from the Medical Examiner’s Office. Upon completion, the investigation will be turned over to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.
The Internal Affairs (IA) investigation is ongoing. At this moment, we do not know the expected timeline.
To protect the integrity of the investigation, Chief Manley will not make a determination to take disciplinary action against Officer Taylor or Officer Pieper, if warranted, until the criminal process concludes.
In regards to the DeSilva case, it is currently suspended pending prosecutorial review at the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.”
Taylor is on paid administrative leave along with the other officer involved in the Ramos case, Officer Mitchell Pieper. As for the two other officers involved in the DeSilva case, Officer Karl Krycia and Officer Joseph Cast have been placed back on regular duty.