A Dallas County sheriff's deputy has been charged with two misdemeanors after allegedly Tasing a suspect who was arrested in the back of a squad vehicle in October 2019.
Deputy Austin Palmer was arrested Thursday and posted a $1,500 bond. He faces charges of official oppression and assault causing bodily injury. He has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal administrative investigation.
Palmer is accused of tasing Jeremiah Ramos, who was arrested on an outstanding warrants and sitting in the back of a squad vehicle on Oct. 7. Deputies had already confronted Ramos previously and during that interaction, he fled from them in a truck, according to an arrest warrant for Palmer.
During the Oct. 7 arrest, Palmer asked Ramos if he knew that he almost hit him with his vehicle when he fled last time, according to the arrest warrant. Ramos said no and said he had never seen Palmer before. Palmer told him to shut his mouth and said he was sure that it was him, according to the warrant.
Ramos continued to deny the accusation and the officer grabbed his taser from his waist and turned towards the backseat and put the taser to his stomach for 15 to 20 seconds, the warrant said. Afterwards, Palmer told him that if he said another word before they got to the jail that he would tase him on his throat. If he moved, the officer threatened to tase him on his genitals, according to the arrest warrant.
Ramos told investigators that Palmer asked the other deputy who was sitting in the backseat if his body camera was on and he said no, according to the warrant.
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Ramos' mother told investigators that he said that he "didn't do anything to deserve this" and she made a statement to the Dallas County Sheriff's Internal Affairs Division, according to the warrant.
In January during the course of the internal investigation, Ramos showed detectives that he still had marks left from the Taser on his stomach. The detective took photos of the marks.
An officer who was working with Palmer during the arrest told investigators that he saw Palmer use the Taser and he was surprised to hear the Taser when it went off, according to the arrest warrant.
In the arrest report that was filed from that day, neither deputy mentioned the deployment of a Taser, according to the arrest warrant.
Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown held a news conference Friday morning where she announced the arrest of the department's own deputy after investigators obtained corroborating evidence.
"My concern is that people will think that we are all bad, we will be painted with a broad brush," Brown said. "One bad apple in the barrel doesn't paint the picture for the whole barrel, if you will."
She said this wasn't a training issue but an isolated incident of a bad decision.
Palmer is going through the due process and administrative process, and was placed on administrative leave, Brown said. He joined the Sheriff's Office as a civilian detention service officer in November 2007 and was promoted to sworn deputy in January 2013.
Ramos remains in jail and faces multiple charges, including evading arrest, burglary of a vehicle, bond forfeiture on theft of property, possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. He remains in jail in lieu of a $14,00 bond.