KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Missouri police officer was arraigned Friday after a grand jury indicted him in the shooting of a man who was wounded during an arrest last summer.
Jacob Ramsey, a five-year veteran with the Kansas City Police Department, faces charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action. A Jackson County judge entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.
Investigators say Ramsey shot 37-year-old Anthony Contreras on June 24 after police went to Contreras' home to serve an arrest warrant. KCTV reported the warrant stemmed from Contreras' failure to appear in court on earlier charges of burglary, tampering with a motor vehicle and resisting arrest.
Police said Contreras was shot while trying to run away. His family and friends insisted at the time that he was unarmed. Authorities have not commented on whether Contreras was found to have a weapon.
Ramsey waived his right to a jury trial through his attorney Friday and requested that a judge decide the case. A trial was scheduled for April 2.
Ramsey, 31, is on unpaid administrative leave, police Capt. Tye Grant said in a statement. Grant declined to comment further and referred questions to the Jackson County prosecutor.
Kansas City's Fraternal Order of Police lodge called Friday's indictment "baseless," saying in a statement that Ramsey "justifiably defended himself against a felon previously convicted of resisting arrest, narcotics and illegal possession of a firearm." Ramsey also acted in compliance with state and federal law, as well as his department's policies, the FOP said.
"The FOP and its members stand firmly behind Officer Ramsey, who has a flawless record and is an impeccable police officer," the organization said. "The FOP will devote all of its substantial resources to the defense of Officer Ramsey, and will stand by him throughout this process, which will ultimately lead to his acquittal."