Dallas County Deputy Arrested For Assaulting Suspect

Alan Scaia
January 17, 2020 - 12:09 pm
Austin Palmer

Credit: Dallas County Sheriff's Department

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - A Dallas County sheriff's deputy has been arrested for a case in October where a suspect says he was "tazed" while he was sitting in the back of the deputy's squad car.

Austin Palmer, 33, was charged with assault and official oppression.

The arrest warrant for Palmer says he and another deputy had gone to a house in October to arrest a suspect on an outstanding warrant for evading arrest. The warrant says the suspect's mother filed a complaint in December.

On October 7, Juanita Morales said she was sitting in her living room with the front door open. Outside, she said she heard two men. One of them said, "Jeremiah, remember me?"

The warrant says Palmer recognized Ramos from a previous call. Ramos said he did not remember Palmer and was walked back to the sheriff's car.

While Ramos was sitting in the back seat, the warrant says Palmer told Ramos to "shut his mouth," and held his Taser to Ramos' stomach for 15-20 seconds. Ramos said he asked Palmer's partner if his camera was, and Palmer's partner said, "No."

Palmer's partner, identified as Deputy Koenig, told investigators he was "startled" by the sound of the taser. He says he turned around and saw Palmer had deployed his taser to Ramos' chest.

Prior to the taser being used, Koenig described Ramos' demeanor as "calm" and said Ramos "did not show signs of being aggressive."

After the complaint was filed, investigators questioned Ramos. The warrant says a detective found Ramos still had marks on his body from the taser.

​Palmer was arrested Thursday on charges of assault and official oppression and bonded out of jail.

"My concern is people will think we are all bad, we'll be painted with a broad brush," says Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown. "Unfortunately, this did not have to happen, but it did."

Brown says Palmer is still employed by the sheriff's department while the case plays out. He will stay on administrative leave.

She says the department has not had other complaints filed for inappropriate uses of a taser.

"When we have issues that we need to address, we're going to be accountable to ourselves," she says. "We don't see this as being a training issue. We see this as an isolated incident where someone made a bad decision."