AUSTIN, Texas - A grieving mother is sharing her pain and calling for peace amid protests.
Brenda Ramos is speaking out for the first time since her unarmed son, Mike Ramos, was shot to death by an Austin police officer last month. She says she doesn't want to see violence at these protests.
Brenda says she is of course deeply upset and she understands others are as well and that people express those emotions differently. She says she hopes people will honor her son's life with peace.
Mike, Brenda says, was what she would describe as a teddy bear. She says her son had a kind heart and was her only child.
Late last month, Mike was shot and killed by Austin police officer Christopher Taylor.
"This needs to stop, it's been going on for a very long time and you can imagine people are upset," Brenda says.
Thousands of people flooded downtown Austin this weekend to protest Mike's death as well as the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.
"I could barely watch and it hurts me," Brenda says. "I don't want no violence. I just want peace and quiet and respect for me, my son. my family."
Brenda was initially scheduled to speak at an Austin Justice Coalition protest on Sunday but it was canceled so she spoke in the parking lot of a Southeast Austin apartment complex instead. It's where Mike was killed.
Brenda says she wants Officer Taylor to be charged with two murders and wonders why Taylor is still on the force after he killed a man experiencing a mental health crisis in July 2019. Taylor and another officer involved in the 2019 shooting were not charged.
"Why hasn't Officer Taylor been arrested? Why hasn't Officer Taylor been fired? Why hasn't Officer Taylor at least been suspended?" Brenda asks.
Officer Taylor is on paid administrative leave.
Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore says Mike's case will be proceeding to a grand jury.