KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A police officer who shot a man last summer now faces charges after a Jackson County grand jury decided to indict him. The officer, Jacob I. Ramsey, 31, is charged with Assault 1st Degree and Armed Criminal Action.
On Friday, Ramsey appeared in court for arraignment, pleading not-guilty and waiving his right to a jury trial. A judge will hear evidence and decide his case.
Sources say the charges are related to the June 2014 shooting of Anthony Contreras, 37.
"He was gonna jump that way to run from them, so he jumped out that way, once he jumped that's when the officer shot him." explained Katey Burris, Contreras' girlfriend on Friday.
Burris also expressed joy in Ramsey's indictment.
"I screamed yes, yes, yes! I think it's very much, it makes me very happy, Anthony deserves justice for what happened," she said.
Others disagree. Several police officers confidentially pointed to Contreras' lengthy criminal history and don't believe Ramsey was unjustified in shooting.
"There was no reason too, he's not known for violence or carrying weapons he's not known for any of that." said Burris.
Immediately following Contreras' shooting in 2014, his family criticized the use of force.
It was about 2:30 p.m. when officers arrived at the 6400 block of 15th Terrace and made contact with Contreras. Contreras' family said he was on house arrest for a burglary conviction and was known for running from police, but said he was not violent and was unarmed when he was shot. Police said at the time of the shooting, one of the officers believed the man was preparing to shoot at him, so he fired his weapon hitting the suspect.
"They shot him when he ran out the back door and they shot him point blank when they could have tazed him, maced him and they shot him dead in his face, in his face and they`ll find all around him there was no weapons at all and that`s his m.o. and any neighborhood cop should know that," said Shaun Magana, when FOX 4 talked to him last summer after the shooting. Magana identified himself as Contreras' cousin.
Contreras survived the shooting. One month later, Contreras was arrested for possession and felony eluding law enforcement in Independence, Mo. He is scheduled in court in Jackson County on Feb. 26.
Ramsey's trial before the judge is set for April 2-3. Kansas City, Mo Police Captain Tye Grant released a statement Friday afternoon that said:
"On June 24, 2014, a KCPD officer was in a non-fatal, officer-involved shooting. This morning, a grand jury recommended that charges be filed in that incident. The officer is a nearly 5-year veteran of the department and is assigned to the Tactical Enforcement Unit. He is on unpaid administrative leave. All further questions should be directed to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office."
In a news release from the Jackson County Prosecutors office, Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker explained the grand jury's decision:
"The grand jury’s responsibility is to determine whether probable cause exists that a crime was committed. The trial judge’s responsibility will be to determine whether there’s sufficient evidence to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."