AUSTIN, Texas - Austin Police Officer Christopher Taylor has been indicted for the death of Mike Ramos and will be charged with first-degree murder. The District Attorney is also looking into another case involving the same officer for the death of Dr. Mauris DeSilva in 2019.
"The fact that Officer Taylor was involved in two shootings in less than a year killing two people, I just couldn't believe that he was back out on the street and doing that," said Brad Vinson, attorney for DeSilva's family.
On July 31, 2019, Austin Police received several 911 calls from the Spring Condominiums in Downtown Austin of a man having a mental health crisis holding a knife to his own throat. The man was 46-year-old Dr. Mauris DeSilva. Police shot and killed him on the scene.
"We know that Officer Taylor was one of the individuals who showed up, and who shot and killed Dr. DeSilva during the middle of this mental health crisis," said Vinson.
Nine months later, Officer Taylor shot and killed Mike Ramos. Wednesday, Officer Taylor was indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury for first-degree murder. Vinson says this is a great first step towards justice for both the Ramos and DeSilva family. "Relief and happiness for the Ramos family that they're on the path to get the justice they deserve, and, obviously, the hope that we get the same thing."
Vinson says he has spoken to District Attorney Jose Garza about DeSilva's case being brought up to a grand jury. "The meeting we had with DA Garza a while back he let us know that the DeSilva case is going to be presented for indictments."
In the back of his head, Vinson says he doesn't understand why Officer Taylor was even on-duty the day Ramos died. Just two days before he was killed, Vinson says his office requested evidence from the day DeSilva was killed but was denied because APD said they were still investigating the case.
"No one can just sit on that. I mean, how can they say that the investigation is still pending when the main officer involved is back out on the street with a gun in his hand shooting and killing Mike Ramos," said Vinson.
Vinson also supports the Mike Ramos Act that was filed this past week. If passed, the bill would make police actions more transparent and hold officers more accountable for their actions. Vinson believes if that act was in place when DeSilva was killed, he thinks Mike Ramos could have still been here today.