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Austin police delay release of footage in fatal shooting

June 22, 2020 GMT

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The city of Austin has delayed the expected Monday release of police body camera footage showing an officer fatally shooting a man as he drove away, citing a new city policy.

The video shows the killing of Mike Ramos, a Black and Hispanic man who was shot and killed by an Austin police officer on April 24.

Austin’s new policy requires the Office of Police Oversight to review videos of incidents considered “critical” before they are made public, City Manager Spencer Cronk said Sunday. That office has yet to see it and provide feedback.

The policy also allows “certain relevant parties” to privately view videos prior to public release. Ramos’ family was shown the video prior to the Office of Police Oversight feedback. It was unclear when the video will be made public.

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The new policy is part of a broader effort to overhaul the police department and follows weeks of protest against police brutality. The deaths of Ramos, George Floyd and others have inspired a global push for racial justice. Floyd, who is also black, died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin down Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he pleaded and said he couldn’t breathe.

Ramos died as police were investigating reports of people in a car, including an armed man, who were doing drugs. Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said Ramos got out of the car with his hands and shirt raised as if to show he had no gun in his waistband.

But Ramos then ignored an officer’s orders to stay out of the car. He was first shot by a beanbag.

He was later found to be unarmed.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler called the shooting “disturbing ” after viewing a bystander’s video. He said Ramos did not appear to pose a threat to police.

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