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Mother of Michael Ramos sues City of Austin over son's death

Brenda Ramos accuses the City of fostering an "institutionally racist and aggressive policing culture" in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

AUSTIN, Texas — The mother of Michael Ramos, an Austin man shot and killed by police in April, is suing the City of Austin, alleging Officer Christopher Taylor killed her son without justification.

Brenda Ramos accuses the City of fostering an “institutionally racist and aggressive policing culture” in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday.

The court filing asks for Brenda Ramos to be paid for damages it says her son would have been entitled to had he not died, for his physical and mental pain and economic loss. She is also seeking payment for damages to her own mental health, injuries related to the death as well as funeral costs.

The court documents call for a jury trial for the civil case.

Michael Ramos was killed after police responded to his southeast Austin apartment complex in April when a 911 caller reported he was doing drugs in a car in the parking lot and had a gun. Police later revealed he was unarmed.

Body camera video released in July raised questions over the justification of the fatal shooting.

Officer Taylor remains employed on paid administrative leave. The police department has said it will not decide on his employment status until a criminal investigation is complete, as to not influence any criminal outcomes.

In May, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said she would present the case to a special grand jury. But then when she lost the runoff election in July, she announced she would delay presenting the case to a grand jury until the new DA takes office in January.


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