By Brian Martel
Christopher Taylor, the Austin police officer charged with murdering Mike Ramos in April 2020, was also charged this past week for his July 2019 killing of Dr. Mauris DeSilva. The other officer involved in the shooting, Karl Krycia, also faces murder charges.
DeSilva was a neuroscientist and doctor of biomedical engineering, who for unknown reasons began experiencing chronic, severe mental breakdowns. In 2019, DeSilva was in the midst of a mental health crisis and holding a knife to his throat in the hallway of his condominium complex. Several neighbors called 911 and explained that DeSilva was experiencing mental instability.
Officers Taylor and Krycia responded, killing DeSilva almost immediately upon contact. Both officers were placed on paid administrative leave during an internal investigation by the Austin Police Department, which did not bring charges against either officer.
Nine months later, Taylor murdered Mike Ramos as he fled from ‘less lethal’ shots from another officer. Ramos’ death was met with immediate protests, and in Austin his name was chanted alongside George Floyd’s during the May Uprisings. Months of combative protests in Austin demanded that Taylor be convicted for Ramos’ murder.
In March, Taylor was indicted and charged for fatally shooting Mike Ramos, which was the first time in decades that an Austin police officer was charged with murder. Protesters’ demands for Taylor’s conviction also brought attention to his previous murder, which originally occurred with little protest, and no consequence for the officers involved.
Taylor and Krycia’s lawyers say these indictments are due to District Attorney José Garza, who they claim is “waging a war on police officers.” However, these indictments were only made possible by the combative uprisings of the people last summer, which Garza rode on the backs of into political office.
Garza simply sanitizes the anti-people work of the police and imperialist State through his role as the supposed ‘good official.’ Garza says he stands for ‘police accountability,’ but the illusion of being at odds with the police is just an attempt to hide the fact that he and the police are both part of the same imperialist system which exists to oppress the people.
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