By Jakob Stein
On Saturday, a protest was held outside Austin Police Department (APD) Headquarters denouncing the murder of Mike Ramos, an unarmed man gunned down by APD in the Riverside neighborhood in Southeast Austin.
The protest was organized by the Mike Ramos Brigade; activists carried a banner reading, “Justice for Mike Ramos! Resist police violence,” and attendees chanted, “We all saw, we all heard, APD are murderers!” and “Mike Ramos, presente en la lucha (present in the struggle)!”
The demonstration also included two actors dressed in police uniforms and pig masks, representing Christopher Taylor (the officer who shot Ramos) and Mitchell Piper (the officer who first escalated the situation by firing a beanbag at him). The two pigs were kept in a wire cage throughout most of the protest and later subjected to a mock trial, which ended with an activist announcing, “the people have found you guilty, you are both enemies of the people, and with this guilty verdict comes people’s justice!” as they were pelted with eggs filled with red paint.
The action came after District Attorney Margaret Moore and APD Chief Brian Manley pledged to release the body camera footage from the shooting, which the murderer Christopher Taylor and his lawyers had previously attempted to withhold from the public. The DA and Police Chief are attempting to do damage control following the revelation that Ramos was not in possession of a firearm at the time of his death, contrary to what police had originally claimed.
As the demonstration ended, those in attendance marched away from APD Headquarters while chanting, “Christopher Taylor/Mitchell Piper, guilty of murder!”
RIP MICHAEL RAMOS, PRESENT IN THE STRUGGLE!