AUSTIN, Texas - Brenda Ramos is hoping to bring about positive change in the wake of her son’s death. The mother of Mike Ramos officially filed the Mike Ramos Act (HB 3654 - 87R) along with State Senator Sarah Eckhardt and Rep. Eddie Rodriguez today.
If passed, it would require body cam video to be released in shootings like the one that killed her son Mike Ramos, beef up de-escalation training for officers, and give the state more power to take away an officer’s license.
"I want the bill on behalf of my son so this won't happen to nobody. Our kids are our future. Soldiers murder and kill. Police are supposed to protect us. Can't trust it anymore," said Ramos.
The Mike Ramos Act includes the following provisions:
- authorizing a licensing fee on police officers to generate revenue for expanding the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement’s (TCOLE) role in police oversight;
- requiring TCOLE to create a model use of force policy and specifying standards for such a policy;
- authorizing new grounds upon which TCOLE can take an officer's license, including for a pattern of excessive force, without limiting any officer right to appeal; and
- reforming the body camera statute to: eliminate the provision allowing officers to see all video before making a statement; and, ensuring that departments have a policy under which video is to be released in critical incidents first to any civilian oversight entity engaged in the investigation, then to the officer and the subject (or family, if deceased), and finally to the public.
- eliminate the provision allowing officers to see all video before making a statement; and,
- ensuring that departments have a policy under which video is to be released in critical incidents first to any civilian oversight entity engaged in the investigation, then to the officer and the subject (or family, if deceased), and finally to the public.
Rep. Rodriguez issued the following statement regarding the Mike Ramos Act:
"Mike Ramos should still be alive today. As the indictment of the police officer who shot and killed him advances, we will also pursue justice outside of the courts: in the Texas Legislature.
"The circumstances of Mike Ramos’s killing raises questions which are all too familiar, underscoring issues with police departments’ use of force policies, policing standards, training, accountability, and transparency. We cannot bring Mike Ramos back, but we can fight for policy changes that could prevent lives from being lost as the result of interactions between police and the communities they serve.
"Mike Ramos’s family and community advocates for policing reform have been instrumental in shaping the Mike Ramos Act. I am humbled to be working together with them and my colleagues in the Austin delegation to advance this legislation in his memory."
WHO IS MIKE RAMOS?
Mike Ramos was shot and killed during an officer-involved shooting by Taylor, who was previously under investigation for shooting another man months prior.
In April 2020, APD got a call about a man in a car with a gun possibly doing drugs. The man was 41-year-old Ramos, who was then shot and killed by Taylor on scene. APD later disclosed Ramos was unarmed.
The shooting occurred in a parking lot at the Rosemont at Oak Valley apartments. A cell phone video shared with FOX 7 Austin shows Ramos with his hands up, showing his waist. He is standing on the drivers-side of a car, telling police he is unarmed.
Police yell commands at Ramos before Ramos is shot once with a bean bag. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says the less-lethal weapon was fired by rookie Austin Police Officer Mitchell Pieper.
Ramos then gets into a car and attempts to drive away when Taylor shoots him three times with a rifle. Manley confirmed that Taylor was one of two officers who fired a lethal weapon, killing a man experiencing a mental health crisis in downtown Austin in July 2019.
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.