Austin police officer involved in fatal shooting withdraws motion asking for video not to be released

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The attorneys for an Austin police officer involved in a deadly shooting last month have withdrawn a motion to prevent footage of the incident being released.

Officer Christopher Taylor’s lawyers previously said he is the subject of a criminal investigation into the death of 42-year-old Michael Ramos.

Ramos was killed on April 24 after officers fired shots at his car while responding to a drug-related 911 call.

In a statement released Wednesday, Taylor’s attorneys Ken Ervin and Doug O’Connell said they were withdrawing the motion “to prohibit public release of the footage.”

“Having now viewed video from two police cameras that captured the incident, we have withdrawn our motion to prohibit public release of the footage,” the statement reads.

“Nevertheless, we continue to disagree with Chief Manley’s decision to release anything while the investigation is ongoing and before a grand jury has had an opportunity to review the facts in their entirety.”

The attorneys described APD Chief Brian Manley’s earlier release of footage as “premature and selective,” adding that releasing them without full context “is not transparency.”

“It is the release of one or two items of evidence while continuing to keep volumes of other evidence hidden from public view,” Ervin and O’Connell said.

“This selective approach does nothing to promote public confidence in the ongoing investigation.”

In the statement, they said they remain confident that Taylor’s actions were “appropriate, lawful and consistent with his training.”

At the time of the shooting, Chief Manley said Taylor fired as Ramos tried to drive away following a standoff with multiple police units in a South Pleasant Valley parking lot.

In a statement on Wednesday, APD said, in part:

“The Austin Police Department is aware of the withdrawn motion regarding the release of video from the April 24, 2020, Officer Involved Shooting. APD remains committed to building trust within our community, and as such, we are moving forward with plans to release the video by following APD Policy 117 Critical Incident-Public Release.”

In the release of APD’s guidelines for keeping and releasing video, the department explains:

  • The department will post the relevant video imagery on a publicly accessible website within 60 days of the incident
  • If the Chief of Police determines that no video will be released following a critical incident, then the department will post a statement summarizing the reasons for the decision within 45 days of the incident with an explanation as to whether or not an opportunity for release exists/or is possible on
    a future date
  • Posted materials will remain on the website for at least two years after the date of the corresponding release posting

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