AUSTIN (KXAN) — Several Austin Police Department officers have called out APD Chief Brian Manley for allowing videos of the April fatal shooting of Mike Ramos by police to be released.
Attorneys representing APD Officer Christopher Taylor — who fired the lethal rounds that killed Ramos — and officers involved in use-of-force incidents against protesters earlier this year issued a statement Sunday calling the decision “complete nonsense.”
On Friday, APD announced that the release of videos recorded during the Austin racial justice and police reform protests over the summer would not be released yet. The department said their release would depend upon whether or not the cases are brought to a grand jury.
The 16-minute-long Mike Ramos video was released publicly July 27, which Taylor and the officers’ say had less to do with transparency and more to do with what was “most politically beneficial.”
During the protests, Austin police officers were accused of injuring several protesters with bean bag rounds that were fired into crowds.
In June, the Office of Police Oversight sent 82 vetted complaints to APD Internal Affairs, which were submitted by protesters who believe officers violated policy.
The full letter from the attorneys Ken Ervin and Doug O’Connell reads:
Chief Manley deciding to release video of the shooting of Mike Ramos prior to grand jury
review, while simultaneously claiming he cannot release video showing officers using force against rioters because there has been no grand jury review, is complete nonsense.
The Ramos video release was never about transparency, and APD’s “policy” of releasing critical incident video is a sham. The real policy is to do whatever is most politically beneficial for the Chief and/or District Attorney in that moment, and today’s announcement proves that.We know from representing Officer Taylor as well as officers involved in the riots that zero crimes were committed by any of these officers.
Rather than doing what is right and announcing these findings to the public, they hide behind each other and blame a stunning election defeat to avoid further public criticism.