AUSTIN, Texas - First thing Wednesday, Nov. 8, a jury will begin deliberating whether APD Officer Christopher Taylor is guilty of murder. Officer Taylor is accused of killing Michael Ramos during a police encounter in 2020.
Before court recessed for the day, the jury took a trip to the Rosemont at Oak Hill apartments in Southeast Austin to take a look at the scene of where this case originated.
Jury members were out there for about 10 minutes before returning to the courthouse. The decision to do the sight visit came as the result of a motion filed by the state.
After that, the jury heard closing arguments.
First up was the state. Attorney for the state, Dexter Gilford, told the jury Officer Taylor should be held accountable for killing Michael Ramos because Ramos was not a threat to officers. He says the most dangerous place for Ramos to be was in Taylor's imagination.
Gilford says the evidence shows Ramos was trying to flee from officers, and if Officer Taylor thought otherwise, why not warn Ramos like they did right before impacting him with a non-lethal round?
"You warned that you were going to impact him, but the defendant, for a full 14 seconds, that if the car were going to move he was going to kill him and didn’t say a word to him. A man like Mike Ramos is dead and all that can be said is that that was a bad decision? That was his choice," said Gilford.
The defense pointed out in their closing arguments that this case is about one thing, and that is Officer Taylor's perception of the threat and if it was reasonable enough to shoot and kill Michael Ramos.
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Defense attorney Doug O'Connell called this case a tragedy, but said it is not murder. He said Taylor had seconds to make a decision, and he did what he had to do to protect himself and fellow officers from Ramos’s oncoming vehicle.
O’Connell pointed out body cam footage the defense presented of officers scrambling as Ramos began to drive off during closing arguments.
He also told the jury it is reasonable to expect current officers could hesitate when responding to future calls if they convict Officer Taylor.
"The police officers you met in this case, including Chris, followed their training, did everything they were expected to do, and it's simply unfair that these prosecutors will sit in an office building scrutinizing every second of a body cam and second guessing what officers have to do out on the street. This whole case was a political prosecution from the very beginning," said O’Connell.
Jury deliberation will begin Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 9 a.m.