AUSTIN, Texas - On day three of witness testimony in the murder trial of Austin Police Officer Christopher Taylor, the jury heard from other officers who responded to the scene.
Ofc. Taylor is accused of killing Michael Ramos unjustifiably during an officer involved shooting on April 24th 2020.
Most of the trial day was consumed with testimony for both Ofc. Darrell Cantu-Harkless and Ofc. Benjamin Hart.
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In body cam footage shown to the jury, the state pointed out Ofc. Cantu-Harkless got into his car when Ramos tried to drive off after being shot with a beanbag round.
State attorney Dexter Gilford asked him if he would have defended himself with his weapon if he felt threatened by Ramos. He answered that he would not hesitate.
Ofc. Cantu-Harkless followed up by testifying to the jury he remembers getting into his car to defend himself from Ramos's oncoming vehicle, a statement that backs the defense’s claim that Ofc. Taylor shot at Ramos to protect other officers from Ramos and his vehicle. The state pointed out Ofc. Cantu-Harkless did not mention that in his original statement.
Ofc. Hart testified Ofc. Cantu-Harkless told him on scene the gold Prius Ramos was inside was tied to crime in the area. He says the crime included auto burglaries and fleeing from police.
State Attorney Gary Cobb asked him if there was any mention of Ramos himself being violent which the officer responded with no.
Ofc. Hart testified that Ramos was not exactly compliant with commands. Cobb asked if it could have been because of the guns officers had pointed at him. Hart responded he was scared at the thought of Ramos having a gun.
When presented with the opportunity, the defense did not cross-examine either officers.
The state began to question Ofc. James Morgan who was also on scene. However, trial ended for the day, and he is expected to continue his testimony Thursday morning.