On the third day of testimony in the murder trial in opposition to Christopher Taylor, jurors heard from Austin police officers who responded alongside Taylor to the 911 name that led to Michael Ramos’ demise.
In a pivotal second, one of many officers current on the scene — who had initially claimed in any other case — ultimately admitted that he didn’t assume he was in quick hazard when Ramos’ automobile moved ahead.
There have been seven different officers current when Taylor shot and killed Ramos in April 2020. Their views could be essential in figuring out whether or not Taylor was justified in taking lethal motion.
In his opening assertion on Monday, Dexter Gilford, head of the Travis County district lawyer’s Civil Rights Unit, emphasised that Taylor was the one officer who shot at Ramos’ transferring automobile. Gilford argued that in doing so, Taylor was in violation of his coaching and “usually accepted police practices.”
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All seven officers who responded alongside Taylor have been subpoenaed and most, if not all, are anticipated to testify.
To this point, the jury has heard from officers Darrell Cantu-Harkless, Benjamin Hart and James Morgan. Prosecutors performed footage from Cantu-Harkless’, Hart’s, and Morgan’s body-worn cameras, from the time officers first responded to the decision to after pictures had been fired.
Prosecutors requested Cantu-Harkless and Hart about their thought course of and decision-making at essential factors during the confrontation with Ramos. During their questioning, prosecutors appeared notably in the reactions that Cantu-Harkless and Hart needed to the motion of Ramos’ automobile.
Morgan had not completed testifying when the court docket session ended Wednesday. He’s anticipated to proceed Thursday.
Cantu-Harkless was the officer closest to Ramos’ automobile. During questioning, Gilford identified that after Ramos obtained into his automobile, Cantu-Harkless holstered his weapon and entered his patrol automobile. Within the body-worn digicam footage, he may be seen placing his automotive into “drive.”
Gary Cobb, who was employed by the district lawyer’s workplace as a particular prosecutor, questioned Hart in a chronic change that grew tense.
Hart led the event of the plan that the officers made earlier than approaching Ramos, and he was subsequent to Taylor when pictures have been fired.
Cobb requested Hart if he felt that there was an “quick hazard” to his life when Ramos drove ahead. Hart initially said sure. He additionally said that he thought the automobile was coming towards him.
Cobb continued urgent Hart on the matter, often interrupted when protection attorneys raised objections concerning the nature of his questioning. Prosecutors performed footage from the body-worn digicam of Valerie Tavarez, one other officer on the scene, and paused it in the mean time Ramos’ automobile started transferring.
Cobb requested Hart, “Your life is in no hazard in any way, is it?”
“No,” Hart said.
“Nobody goes to need to kill Michael Ramos to defend your life, will they?” Cobb requested.
“I do not imagine so,” Hart said.
“You needn’t kill Michael Ramos to defend your personal life, do you?”
“And also you needn’t kill Michael Ramos in order to defend anybody else’s life, do you?” Cobb requested.
“Not that I am conscious of,” Hart said.
Lastly, Cobb requested Hart if he felt that his choice to not shoot Ramos was “cheap.” Hart agreed.
All through the trial, there have been members of regulation enforcement — in plainclothes — current in the courtroom. Previous to the trial, the president of the Austin Police Affiliation, Thomas Villarreal, despatched an e-mail to members asking them to assist Taylor by coming to court docket.
“For years, we have now talked about being our brother’s keeper. Over the approaching weeks, we have to dwell by these phrases and stand shoulder to shoulder in assist of Chris and his household,” Villarreal wrote.
In a textual content to the American-Statesman, Villarreal confirmed that an e-mail had been despatched and said, “We proceed to face by Officer Taylor.”
Late Tuesday afternoon, jurors additionally heard from Ramos’ girlfriend, Rebeca Garcia. She was in the automobile with Ramos when police arrived however remained outdoors when Ramos tried to drive away. Garcia described her worry when going through the police.
“We didn’t know which approach to go or who to take heed to as a result of if we made a unsuitable step, we may have been shot,” Garcia said.
This text initially appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Austin police officers give revealing testimony in Taylor’s murder trial