Christopher Taylor trial: Digital recreation of the shooting shown to jury

A digital recreation of the shooting of Mike Ramos by APD officer Christopher Taylor was presented to the jury in the murder trial. 

The video was made by Mark Johnson who testified Tuesday.

"It’s a tedious process, but we did that to lock all the cameras into a synchronization," said Johnson.

The jury was shown different points of view of the shooting which happened at a Southeast Austin apartment complex in April 2020. There was also a mapping of the shots fired at Ramos, the second being the fatal shot.

"The accuracy of the scans is beyond a level that we ever could have experience before in forensics," said Johnson.

The process of creating the digital presentation involved the adaption of a collection of several different videos from the incident. The recreation includes a vantage point from Mike Ramos as he was confronted by police and from the officers. 

After the digital reaction was played in court, social justice advocate Chas Moore spoke about what he saw.

"No, I think it’s saying, people have to look at it like this, Officer Taylor was in the same place as two other officers that did not shoot lethal rounds. So why did you feel so threatened when the other two officers did not," said Moore.

Taylor’s defense is based on his claim that he fired his rifle because he viewed Ramos as a threat as he drove away to other officers. Johnson testified he was able to place the officers at the scene where they were that day. He said it involved triangulation.

The initial presentation of the digital recreation did not show the position officers were in, and where Ramos was heading. Johnson also admitted the views he created also have an important limitation.

"If you go to Officer Pieper’s view, we are not saying that’s what he was seeing, but we’re saying that is the direction his head was pointing," said Johnson.

The use of digital video recreations in criminal trials is a fairly new technique. The jury can see through a rifle scope, and even walk around a crime scene as a virtual officer. The technology can be a powerful influence. 


Moore spoke about the digital video recreations.

"I don’t know. I don’t know some technological advances are good, I don’t know. I don’t think that the jury or the courtroom should make a sole decision on that. I think it’s a perspective, I think it’s an angle, but I think we have to rely on the hard real footage, that we have the hard footage that they actually have," said Moore.

The jury also heard testimony from the woman who brought police to the scene back in April 2020.

Meko Scott testified that she was told Ramos had a gun, and he was causing problems after doing drugs. The jury heard Scott’s 911 call and how she told the dispatcher she saw him holding a gun. 

On the stand she told the jury she made a mistake and offered an apology.

"Everybody has said that he said he had a gun, so I assumed that he had a gun. I never did see a gun, so I have to apologize to the mother and to the family and everything is a man with a gun. I was told that he had a gun," said Scott.