AUSTIN, Texas — About one month after an Austin man died after an officer fired his rifle at him, a man in Minneapolis has died in the custody of police officers, prompting nationwide protests. Now, protests are planned for Austin.
On Saturday, May 30, at 12 p.m., a group is expected to gather to call for "justice for George Floyd and Mike Ramos," according to a Facebook event. The group, "Mike Ramos Brigade," is planning to protest in front of the Austin Police Department Headquarters.
On Sunday, May 31, a march is scheduled to start at the south steps of the Texas State Capitol from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., according to a Facebook event titled, "Justice For Them All."
"People need to stand up in solidarity and show others that we're not going to take this lying down and this isn't going to be the way that we're going to go quietly and just continue to let this happen to individuals in our communities," said the Mike Ramos Brigade organizer, David.
David didn't want to give his full name for safety reasons, but he said this hits home.
David said this is to show solidarity with those across the country who are protesting for justice for George Floyd and continue to call for justice for Michael Ramos, who died after being shot by an Austin police officer.
"People begging for their lives and just being killed as if their lives don't have any meaning, and our lives matter," said David. "Black people's lives matter, brown people's lives matter, all lives matter."
That is what David said he will be chanting come Saturday. He wasn't clear on if it will be peaceful, but he did say this:
"We're just trying to make sure we keep people safe and that people can express their anger in whatever way feels best."
The Austin Police Department released this statement in response:
"The Austin Police Department is aware of the planned protest occurring this weekend. We will have the appropriate number of officers on duty to ensure every citizen’s right to gather and peacefully protest is protected, while also keeping our community safe. "
On April 24, officers shot Michael Ramos, 42, with a beanbag shotgun before he got in his car and attempted to drive away near East Oltorf Street and South Pleasant Valley Road. When he started to drive away, another officer fired his rifle at Ramos, who died later that night at a local hospital. A firearm was not found in Ramos' car.
The officer who fired his rifle does not want the body camera video released. Leaders are calling for a transparent investigation of the shooting, and a community group is calling for Austin Police Chief Brian Manley to resign. The Austin Justice Coalition wants some city leaders fired.
A federal investigation is now underway after a Houston man died May 25 as he was being arrested by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Video shows a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he says, “I can’t breathe.” The mayor there has called for criminal charges against the four officers involved.
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