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Austin police officer charged in killing of Michael Ramos indicted with second murder charge

While on bond for a murder charge for the killing of Michael Ramos, Austin police officer Christopher Taylor was once again indicted with a separate charge for the death of a mentally ill man in July 2019. Officer Karl Krycia, who also fired shots at the mentally ill man, was indicted with a murder charge for the July 2019 incident, as well.

Taylor, who was charged with murder for the shooting of Ramos, an unarmed Black and Hispanic man, in April 2020, turned himself in for the newest on-duty murder charge on Friday.

Ten months before the death of Ramos, Taylor shot and killed Mauris DeSilva, a Univeristy of Texas-San Antonio professor with schizophrenia who was suffering a psychotic break, after he allegedly took a step toward three on-scene police officers with a knife at a luxury condo building near Third and Bowie streets on July 31, 2019. Two of the three officers opened fire after DeSilva allegedly did not obey their commands. All officers returned on duty in the weeks after the shooting.

DeSilva's family filed a lawsuit against the department, citing that the shooting was unjustified and that APD knew DeSilva's history of mental illness and had deescalated the situation before.

"During the last years and months of his life, Dr. DeSilva struggled with increasingly severe mental illness," the lawsuit says. "Austin PD was well aware of this fact."

According to the lawsuit DeSilva's neighbor called Austin PD that night, fearing that an emotionally disturbed DeSilva was once again suffering from a psychotic break as he held a knife to his neck in the condominium hallway. The neighbor asked for a mental health officer. While on-duty mental health officer Benjamin Lynch was available to respond, he was not at the scene at the time of the murder. Police say that Lynch was on his way to the scene when DeSilva was killed.

Attorneys for Taylor say that he "had no choice but to use deadly force to protect himself."

"This was in no way murder," they said in a statement.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon said the department would delay their conclusion in its administrative review of both Officer Taylor and Officer Karl Krycia, who also fired shots at the scene.

:APD respects the role the Grand Jury holds in the criminal justice process and will continue to cooperate with the District Attorney's Office on this case. As with anyone charged with an offense, these officers are presumed innocent unless found guilty through the criminal process," Chacon said. "In respect of their right to a fair trial, we will not be commenting further."

Officer Krycia has been placed on paid administrative duty, while Taylor remains on leave without pay after his murder charge in Ramos' killing. Taylor was released on personal bond Friday morning following the second charge.


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