AUSTIN, Texas - April 24th will mark a year since Brenda Ramos saw her son Michael.
"When I saw everything, it was like a war of SUVs out there and only one of him," she said about viewing videos of the shooting that killed him.
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza said Michael Ramos was shot and killed by Austin Police Officer Christopher Taylor. Dash camera and body camera footage show the shooting happening in the parking lot of a Southeast Austin apartment complex. Video shared with FOX 7 shows Ramos with his hands up.
"He said put your guns down, they wouldn't. Also someone yells ‘he’s packing.’ I knew from the frustration and anger, he's never had that in his life, a gun, and he was telling the truth," said Ramos.
Commands are yelled before Ramos attempts to drive off when the officer shoots at the car.
"I can’t accept the way he shot him from his head three times down to his back. I wasn't going to be able to see him at the funeral home," she said.
A Travis County grand jury indicted Christopher Taylor on a murder charge. He turned himself in Thursday.
"It was too long of a wait," said Ramos.
"A Travis County grand jury, members of our community, heard the evidence and the law and determined that probable cause exists," said Jose Garza, Travis County District Attorney.
APD sent this statement:
The Austin Police Department is aware that a Travis County Grand Jury indicted Officer Christopher Taylor and no-billed Officer Mitchell Pieper for an incident that occurred in April of 2020. APD respects the role the Grand Jury holds in the criminal justice process and will continue to cooperate with the District Attorney’s Office on this case as needed while it proceeds through the trial process.
Taylor is out on bond and on paid administrative leave. As for Brenda, she believes this move by the district attorney is one step toward healing, justice, and possibly closure, beyond her regular cemetery visits. "I’d go over there and sit down and have my little lunch and talk to him. That's the only closure I have," she said.
"Grand juries and trials are part of the accountability process that help ensure justice and the trust the community should have in its institutions. Justice and accountability need each other," said Mayor Steve adler in a press release Friday. "I also applaud and support the efforts by Austin Senator Sarah Eckhardt, who filed the Mike Ramos Act in the Texas Senate. The legislation would create new standards for police discipline and make police bodycam footage more accessible when the use of force has occurred."
Taylor’s attorneys Ken Ervin and Doug O’Connell sent this statement to FOX 7 shortly after the announcement of the indictment:
"We are disappointed but sadly not surprised at this indictment. As early as July of last year, then-DA candidate Jose Garza had made up his mind that Officer Taylor committed a crime and went so far as to offer an implied promise to indict him several months before being elected District Attorney or having access to any case evidence:
'Right now my focus is on the families. My heart breaks for the Ramos and Ambler families as they continue to wait for justice. I look forward to fighting for justice for them. It’s going to be one of my highest priorities.'
We would remind Mr. Garza that his sworn duty is not to be an advocate for one party months before knowing the facts. It is to see that justice is done. Today’s indictment is not justice; it is the fulfillment of a campaign talking point and yet more evidence of antipolice bias. We look forward to presenting the facts of this case, in their entirety, to a panel of citizens not behind closed doors and not under his exclusive control."
No charges were filed against APD Officer Mitchell Pieper, who had fired a bean bag round at Ramos before he was shot.