AUSTIN (KXAN) — A deadly officer-involved shooting in southeast Austin Friday night has some community groups calling for an outside investigation.
As video of the deadly shooting has surfaced across the internet, the League of United Latin American Citizens is calling for Chief Brian Manley’s resignation.
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Broadcastify sound audio played out the call leading up to the scene.
Dispatch: “Call related to a gun, urgent. 2601 South Pleasant Valley. A gold Prius, smoking crack and meth. The caller is saying one subject has a 32. He’s holding it up. Hispanic male, white t-shirt.”
That was the call reported to APD around 6:30 p.m. Friday evening at an apartment complex off Pleasant Valley. Shortly after that call, APD called for a helicopter and K9 unit to be dispatched.
“Based on the description of the vehicle that we were provided, we believed that this might be the same vehicle involved in an incident involving the Austin Police Department yesterday, where the person in that vehicle evaded in that vehicle,” said Austin Police Chief Brian Manley in a Friday night press conference.
Video captured by multiple different witnesses show what happened.
“At 6:42 p.m, the officers announced that the suspect has gotten out of the vehicle and is not complying with the officers’ commands,” Chief Manley said. “They’re talking at this point about using a less-lethal strategy, one of our bean bag shotguns, to gain compliance.”
Right after that, a less lethal shotgun was deployed, and video shows the suspect get in his car and drive off. Shortly after that, officers fired multiple lethal shots.
“The officer involved who initially fired the less-lethal firearm graduated out of the last cadet class,” Chief Manley said. “He has been on the street for approximately three months, and in his training phase. The officer who fired the lethal weapon has been with the department for five years.”
Since those videos have surfaced, there have been protests and press conferences from community outreach groups.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler released a statement on Sunday:
“The use of force is the most potent and irreversible of a police officer’s tools and requires trust between officers and the communities they protect. We don’t know all the facts surrounding the death of Mike Ramos but we do know people are hurting and there are many questions. We must respond to the anxiety and lack of confidence expressed by communities of color. I have told the Manager we need a quick and complete assessment by the Office of Police Oversight of this shooting and then a sharing of all relevant information with the community. This incident happens against the backdrop of investigations and assessments of the department that must also be full, transparent, concluded and reported.”
The Austin Justice Coalition held a press conference Saturday afternoon discussing footage from the scene.
“This senseless shooting could have been avoided. There are multiple videos and multiple angles of different videos that show [the suspect], maybe not quietly, but he was asking the cops one, what was going on, and then two, could they put the guns down. He said that multiple times from the things that we saw,” said AJC Executive Director and Founder Chas Moore.
The organization LULAC is calling for the resignation of Austin Police Chief Manley. The group is also asking for an independent investigation by the U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division.
Saturday, Austin City council member Natasha Harper-Madison, who presides over District 1, tweeted out a statement about the incident.
“Like many others, I’ve seen disturbing video of this fatal encounter. At a time when trust between APD and the community is at rock-bottom, we need a fully transparent and expedient investigation, that pulls no punches in the pursuit of accountability. ” she said in part. “Justice is essential, pandemic or not, and I will continue to monitor this developing situation.”
Chief Manley put out a message on YouTube Saturday evening calling for witnesses to come forward.
“I’ve seen videos on social media, and I understand the concern that those have brought forward in our community,” Chief Manley said. “We have not yet had the opportunity to speak with anyone who has the video of the incident, please come forward. Please give us your account, or give us the information that you have so that we can conduct a thorough investigation.”
Chief Manley says the department has been reviewing the dash cam, body camera and social media videos. The department is also still working on a search warrant to search the gold Prius to see if there was a gun inside the car.