The Mike Ramos Act – a piece of legislation which is currently pending before the Texas State Legislature and named in honor of the unarmed man whom Austin police killed in 2020 – would allow for greater access to footage from police-worn body cameras in cases that involve use (or abuse) of police force. The law, if enacted by the state legislature, would also define additional standards for police officer discipline when officers use greater force than necessary under the circumstances.
The piece of proposed legislation has been introduced by Texas State Senator Sarah Eckhardt, who is an Austin Democrat. The legislation was announced recently by Senator Eckhardt, along with Brenda Ramos – the mother of Mike Ramos. An identical bill was also filed in the Texas House recently by State Representative Eddie Rodriguez.
If enacted, the main purpose of the legislation is to address systemic inequalities that are apparent in the Texas criminal justice system, as well as across the country.
If you are currently facing criminal charges where you believe an officer might have used excessive force, it is important that you seek experienced legal counsel as soon as possible. The skilled Austin criminal defense lawyers at Granger and Mueller PC can investigate your circumstances and could help you pursue the justice you deserve. Please talk with us today to find out more about how we could help defend you against a pending criminal charge in Austin.
Background for the New Proposed Bill
The proposed Michael Ramos Act stems from a shooting death that involved Michael Ramos on April 24, 2020. The shooting occurred in the parking lot of an apartment complex that was located in south Austin and followed a police confrontation. The Austin police officer who did the shooting is now currently facing murder charges.
If the Texas legislature enacts the bill into law, it would authorize the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to develop an updated training model pertaining to the use of force by police and de-escalating situations. It would also establish a detailed list of offenses that could result in an Austin peace officer’s license being subject to suspension or revocation. The list includes the following offenses:
- Illegal use of drugs
- Failing to tell the truth during a court proceeding (committing the crime of perjury)
- Failing to exercise due competence when performing peace officer duties
- Engaging in conduct that is discriminatory in nature
- Exhibiting patterns or habits of using excessive force against individuals
- Exhibiting patterns of abusing an official capacity
- Routinely engaging in relationships with individuals who are in custody that are inappropriate
- Failing to follow a supervising officer’s orders or directions
Speak to an Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Case
If you are currently facing one or more criminal charges in Texas, the skilled legal team at Granger and Mueller PC is here to help. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Austin criminal defense attorney, please call us today at 512-474-9999 or contact us online for more information.