Denver police officer indicted over shooting that left at least 5 people injured
A Denver police officer has been charged with two felonies in connection with an on-duty shooting that injured several bystanders over the summer, the city’s attorney’s office told ABC News.
A grand jury indicted officer Brandon Ramos with two counts of second-degree assault, both felonies, and twelve counts of misdemeanor: six counts of third-degree assault; according to the indictment, one count of prohibited use of a weapon and five counts of reckless endangerment.
According to Denver District Attorney Beth McCann, the grand jury heard testimony from 17 witnesses and reviewed 140 pieces of evidence.
“I would like to thank the members of the grand jury who have spent many days listening to testimony and examining exhibits over the past several months,” McCann said in a press release on Wednesday. “This is a very serious matter and I appreciate the time and attention each of you has given to this important decision. The case will now go to court.”
Ramos and two other officers were in lower downtown Denver around 1:30 a.m. on July 17 when they tried to arrest Jordan Waddy, who the indictment said was trying to flee after an altercation outside a bar.
Denver Police Department Officer Brandon Ramos in a police booking photo.
Denver District Attorney’s Office
The other two officers caught up with the suspect and stood directly in front of Waddy as he allegedly reached for his gun inside his hoodie, which resulted in them firing their guns six times in the suspect’s direction. From her perspective, the bar and a brick wall were behind Waddy, the indictment says.
The grand jury ruled that the other two officers were legally justified in their actions, McCann said.
According to the indictment, Ramos shot Waddy when a small crowd was near the suspect, allegedly injuring at least five people.
Prosecutors told ABC News that other bystanders were injured during the incident, but only five were linked to Ramos’ alleged actions.
ABC News has not yet identified his attorney. The Denver Police Department and Denver Police Protective Association did not respond to ABC News requests for comment.
The Denver Police Protective Association told ABC News in a statement that it would continue to support Ramos and said the situation could have been avoided if Waddy had cooperated with officers.
“Charging this officer with a crime of endangering his career and liberty for acting as he was trained and in the public interest without malice, bad faith or a lack of concern is regrettable and saddened,” the DPPA said.
In a statement to Denver ABC affiliate KMGH, Mayor Michael Hancock called the jury’s decision surprising.
“Police officers make split-second decisions in difficult circumstances every day, and those decisions are based on keeping people safe,” Hancock said. “While the situation remains unfortunate and it is unfortunate that innocent bystanders were injured, I am surprised to see that the grand jury found that the officer’s actions contained criminal intent.”
Waddy was charged with three counts of possession of a firearm as a prior offender and one count of third-degree assault. Public defenders representing Waddy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Waddy’s attorneys said at an August court hearing that the evidence they reviewed does not support claims that Waddy threatened officers with a gun, according to the Denver Gazette.
In a statement to ABC News, Denver-based law firm Rathod Mohamedbhai, which represents three shooting victims, said it was pleased with the decision to press charges.
“Yekalo Weldewihet, Bailey Alexander and Willis Small IV, three victims of the LoDo shooting, are relieved that a grand jury has indicted Denver Police Officer Brandon Ramos for his reckless actions that harm not only our customers but the community.” of Denver,” the law firm said in a press release.
“We think the grand jury’s decision certainly indicates the accountability that our community deserves and should have,” Ciara Anderson, attorney at Rathod Mohamedbhai, told ABC News.