AUSTIN (KXAN) — The girlfriend of a man shot and killed in April 2020 by an Austin Police Department officer is now filing a $1 million lawsuit against the city.
Rebeca Garcia filed the lawsuit on Monday, just over two years after the April 24, 2020 shooting of Mike Ramos.
The lawsuit said Garcia suffered emotional distress from seeing her boyfriend being shot and killed by an APD officer in 2020, stating that police had responded to their south Austin apartment complex on a report about a “man with a gun.”
A City of Austin spokesperson told KXAN: “We are aware the case has been filed. We will follow our regular procedure for responses to litigation brought against the City.“
“The man was Mike Ramos and he did not, in fact, have a gun,” the lawsuit said.
The Austin Police Department officer who shot Ramos, identified as Christopher Taylor, was charged with Ramos’ murder in March 2021.
KXAN has reached out to Taylor’s attorneys for comment on the lawsuit. We will update this story when we hear back.
Taylor was the subject of a joint investigation by APD’s Special Investigations Unit and the Travis County District Attorney’s Civil Rights Unit. Taylor’s indictment on the murder charge was the first against an Austin Police officer for first-degree murder to come out of a use-of-force incident, the DA’s office said.
The lawsuit stated that Garcia has “suffered severe emotional distress that continues to impact her everyday life.” Garcia’s lawsuit said Taylor “owed Rebeca a duty of care that he breached by killing Mike.”
In July 2020, APD released body and dash cam footage from some of the responding officers of the incident with Ramos. Eight officers were present at the time of the shooting.
They were originally dispatched for a drug-related call off South Pleasant Valley Road, according to APD’s past reports. A 911 caller claimed people in a Toyota Prius were doing drugs, and a man there supposedly had a weapon.
Responding officers instructed Ramos to get out of the car. He gets out, however, the situation escalated, and a non-lethal bean bag round was fired at Ramos. He was hit in the thigh, according to APD.
This noticeably startled Ramos, and he jumps back into the car and shuts the door, the video shows. Three gunshots were fired as Ramos tries to drive away from the parking spot. APD previously said Taylor was the officer who fired the lethal rounds.
Taylor faces two murder charges
Taylor was also indicted on a murder charge in the death of Dr. Marius DeSilva, a man who was shot and killed during a mental health episode on July 31, 2019.
DeSilva was shot by APD officers Karl Krycia and Taylor at his condominium on Bowie Street. According to APD, DeSilva was holding a knife up to his own neck when officers arrived at the scene. Police said DeSilva moved the knife to his side when asked, but after he moved toward officers with the knife, he was shot and later died.
Taylor faces one count of murder in the Ramos case and his next court date is May 16.