An Austin police officer who reportedly shot and killed Michael Ramos last year has been charged with first-degree murder, the Travis County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday morning. It is the first known murder indictment for an Austin police officer in a use-of-force incident, the office said.
A warrant had been issued Wednesday for the arrest of Christopher Taylor with a bond set for $100,000, Travis County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Kristen Dark confirmed to the Texas Tribune. Taylor turned himself into the Travis County Jail and was released on bond within about a half hour around midnight, Dark said Thursday. His indictment states he cannot hold employment with access to a firearm, and he cannot possess personal firearms. The Austin Police Department said Thursday afternoon Taylor is on unpaid administrative leave.
Ramos, 42, was the subject of a call about a man with a gun using drugs when police confronted him in the parking lot of an Austin apartment complex last April.
Body camera videos show officers ordering Ramos to exit his vehicle, hold his hands up and lift his shirt. He moved to the front of his vehicle and did so before inching back toward his car door. He repeatedly yelled, asking what he had done and telling officers he did not have a gun.
Officer Mitchell Pieper fired a beanbag round at Ramos. The impact munition appears to have had little effect. Ramos then reentered his car and proceeded to drive. Taylor fired three rounds at the moving vehicle, killing Ramos. The same grand jury that heard Taylor's case chose not to indict Pieper on an aggravated assault charge.