AUSTIN, Texas — On Thursday, Feb. 17, a Travis County grand jury issued at least 19 indictments for Austin Police Department officers accused of excessive use of force during the May 2020 protests following the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Michael Ramos in Austin.
This number of indictments is expected to be the highest of any U.S. city after the unrest that followed Floyd's murder. The 19 indicted officers will be placed on administrative duty until their cases are resolved, according to Austin police.
And while the officers indicted on Thursday are not the first to be indicted in Austin's history, they are part of a previously small group. Before Thursday, only a handful of APD officers had ever been issued an indictment for a use-of-force incident.
Let's take a look at the previous cases.
Officer Scott Glasgow
On June 14, 2003, APD Officer Scott Glasgow shot and killed 20-year-old Jesse Owens after stopping him in a stolen car. Glasgow became entangled in the car, Owens started driving and Glasgow fired.
On Oct. 20, 2003, Glasgow was indicted by a grand jury on one count of criminally negligent homicide. In 2004, a judge would throw out the case against Glasgow after prosecutors acknowledged the indictment didn't accuse Glasgow of a crime but rather a series of APD policy violations.
Det. Charles Kleinert
On July 26, 2013, APD Det. Charles Kleinert shot and killed 32-year-old Larry Jackson Jr. Kleinert said his gun accidentally fired when he got in a tussle with Jackson Jr., who he was investigating for possible bank fraud.
On May 15, 2014, a grand jury indicted Kleinert for manslaughter in Jackson Jr.'s death.
On Nov. 2, 2015, the manslaughter charges against Kleinert were dropped after a judge ruled that Kleinert was serving on a federal task force at the time of Jackson Jr.’s death and, therefore, was entitled to special protection from prosecution. The Travis County DA’s office would later unsuccessfully appeal the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2015, then appeal to the Supreme Court in 2017.
In connection with this case, the City of Austin voted to give two separate settlements to Jackson Jr.'s family: $1.25 million for his kids and $600,000 for his mother and widow.
Officer Christopher Taylor
APD Officer Christopher Taylor has been indicted twice for two separate fatal shootings.
On July 31, 2019, Taylor shot and killed Mauris DeSilva, who suffered from mental illness and had a knife in a downtown condo building when Taylor shot and killed him. On Aug. 27, 2021, Taylor was indicted on a murder charge in DeSilva's death.
Officer Karl Krycia was also indicted with murder and deadly conduct in DeSilva’s death.
On April 24, 2020, 42-year-old Michael Ramos was shot and killed outside an apartment complex by Taylor. A 911 caller told police she saw two men doing drugs in a car, and that one of them was holding a gun. A gun wasn’t found in Ramos’ car after his death.
On March 10, 2021, Taylor was indicted for first-degree murder in Ramos' death.
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