The fatal police shooting of 42-year-old Mike Ramos has many people in the community outraged and calling for major changes in the Austin Police Department.
The outcry from the community comes after a cellphone video of the encounter showed that Ramos had his hands in the air before he was shot and killed by police.
Chas Moore, executive director of the Austin Justice Coalition believes this is a direct attack on people of color.
“He was doing what I would call the universal sign of retreat,” said Moore. “He had his hands up and after he was shot with a bean bag, he drove away, not towards the police, in what we would consider a flee for survival.”
The mayor of Austin said he was “very disturbed by the shooting. “Mike Ramos does not appear to threaten but ends up dead. There’s got to be a better way,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a statement on Monday. “I’m very disturbed.”
APD Chief Brian Manley said the incident began at around 6:30 p.m. on Friday when a 911 caller stated they saw people in a car in the parking lot doing drugs, and a male subject holding a gun.
In the video, Ramos can be seen with his hands in the air when he is initially shot by what police say was a non-lethal bean bag round. After being shot, Ramos flees back inside his car and attempts to drive away from the scene. As he attempts to flee, officer Christopher Taylor opens fire with an AR-15 assault rifle, hitting Ramos three times. He would later be pronounced dead at the hospital.
Chief Manley says the officer who fired the bean-bag round was officer Mitchell Piper. Police say Piper fired the shot in order to gain compliance from Ramos.
Now, Moore is demanding the resignations of the officers involved and higher-ups. He says people of black and brown communities have suffered since Manley has been in charge.
“We are asking for the resignation of Chief Brian Manley,” said Moore. “We do not feel he has passed any test as police chief, in his time.”
The Austin Justice Coalition is also asking for APD Chief of Staff Troy Gay to resign, as well as Assistant City Manager Rey Arrellano.