AUSTIN, Texas — Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk has directed that the release of video related to the death of Mike Ramos be delayed, saying the Austin Police Department didn't follow policy. The video was reportedly set to be released Monday morning.
In a statement obtained by KVUE on Sunday, a City of Austin spokesperson said that under a newly established policy, APD is required to produce and distribute a "Critical Incident Community Briefing video" under certain circumstances. APD has produced an initial video regarding the officer-involved shooting that resulted in Ramos' death, but in accordance with this policy, the Office of Police Oversight (OPO) is required to consult and provide feedback on the production of such videos.
The City said that hasn't happened yet in this case.
The City also said the policy allows certain relevant parties the opportunity to privately view the video before it's released to the public – but the Ramos family was shown the video prior to the OPO providing feedback.
"The city manager has directed this video be withheld from public release until the Office of Police Oversight has had an opportunity to fully review the video and ensure that all requirements of the policy are appropriately met," the City statement reads in part.
This announcement by the City comes just days after community organizations, including the Austin Justice Coalition, agreed to allow APD to release body camera footage of the shooting as long as the OPO's director had a role in the video’s edit.
"We learned this week that a video was created out of the Mike Ramos footage without the participation of [OPO Director] Farah Muscadin," said Austin Justice Coalition executive director Chas Moore on Friday. "We learned that Farah Muscadin would be ‘shown’ the video today and that it would be released on Monday at 8 a.m."
The organizations accused Austin Police Chief Brian Manley of violating his own policy, demanding the OPO be granted full participation in the editing process. They also renewed their calls for Manley's resignation.
Mike Ramos was shot by an APD officer in late April and later died due to his injuries. He was found to be unarmed and was fleeing from police in a vehicle when he was shot.
The Ramos family attorney told KVUE they have no comment on the City's decision at this time.
You can read the full City statement below:
"Under a newly established policy, the Austin Police Department is required to produce and distribute a Critical Incident Community Briefing video under certain circumstances. The Police Department has produced an initial video regarding the recent officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of Michael Ramos. In accordance with this policy, the Office of Police Oversight is required to consult and provide feedback on the production of such videos. That has not happened.
Additionally, the policy also allows an opportunity for certain relevant parties to privately view the video prior to public release. Unfortunately, the Ramos family was presented with a viewing of the video prior to the Office of Police Oversight having provided feedback. The City Manager has directed this video be withheld from public release until the Office of Police Oversight has had an opportunity to fully review the video and ensure that all requirements of the policy are appropriately met."
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