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A Texas grand jury has indicted Austin police officer Christopher Taylor for murder on Wednesday for the death of Mike Ramos last year.
The ruling marks the first time in decades that an officer has faced the most serious charge in an excessive force case.
According to a report by KVUE, a warrant has been issued for Taylor’s arrest by the Travis County Sheriff’s office. A $100,000 bond has been set for Taylor, who faces a potential sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Representatives for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office and Austin Police Department did not immediately return FOX News request for comment.
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On April 24, 2020, the Austin Police Department received a 911 calll reporting two people doings drugs in a vehicle located in a parking lot near East Oltorf Street and South Pleasant Valley Road in southeast Austin.
Officers, including Taylor, arrived on the scene and approached Ramos, a 42-year-old Black and Hispanic man. Ramos got out of the car, but officers said he did not comply with officers’ commands. Officer Mitchell Pieper reportedly fired from a less-lethal “bean bag” shotgun before Taylor fired the fatal shot from his rifle.
(Courtesy the Family of Michael Ramos.)
The call stated that Ramos was reportedly holding a gun. However, detectives said a gun was not found anywhere in the car.
Taylor was placed on administrative leave following the incident.
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The case sparked controversy over the summer after videos of the incident surfaced on social media and an edited video of body and dashboard camera footage was released publicly by the Austin Police Department in July.
Taylor reportedly requested that the court prohibit the video’s public release, though his attorneys later said they withdrew the request.
The shooting, which prompted protests in Austin, came just weeks before the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Ramos’ mother, Brenda Ramos, filed a lawsuit against the city of Austin, accusing officials of fostering an “institutionally racist and aggressive policing culture,” according to KVUE.
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According to the Austin American Statesman, the last time an Austin police officer faced charges in a shooting death was detective Charles “Trey” Kleinert, who was charged with manslaughter in the death of Larry Jackson in July 2013. The case was later dismissed.
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