Police Officer Grant Morrison fatally shot Richard Ramirez during an April 14, 2014, traffic stop in Billings, Montana.
Ramirez was a back seat passenger in a car that Officer Morrison had pulled over.
A recently released dashcam video (below) shows Officer Morrison telling the people inside the car to put their hands up. He threatens to shoot Ramirez if he doesn't comply.
Seconds later, Officer Morrison fires his gun into the car, hitting Ramirez.
Tom Black, who was sitting next to Ramirez in the car, told the Associated Press after the shooting that Ramirez was trying to unbuckle his seatbelt when he was shot.
In the video, Officer Morrison tells the unarmed Ramirez to put his hands up or get shot again.
Today, a seven-person coroner's jury ruled that Officer Morrison's action were a noncriminal, justifiable homicide, reports the Billings Gazette.
"It’s the hardest decision I've ever had to make," Officer Morrison told the jury during his testimony. "I wish I didn't have to make it. I wish I just knew he didn't have a gun, but I couldn't take the risk."
Officer Morrison claimed that he thought Ramirez was going to "kill" him and recalled how he had searched Ramirez the day before in connection with a shooting, but didn't know Ramirez was in the car when he pulled it over.
"I was getting very scared," Officer Morrison told the jury. "He pulled away from me, and he again did the exact same thing. He shoved his hand down to his side and started jiggling it up and down. I told him I was going to shoot him if he didn't listen to me and put his hands up."
"Richard Ramirez was my son," Ramirez's mother, Betty, told the Billings Gazette. "He was 38 years old, and Officer Morrison is the one that killed him. He was just a good person, and they didn't have to do that to him."
"That ain't right, the way he died," added Betty. "I'm going to fight it, I'm going to take it as far as I can get it. I'm not going to give up."
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO AND LANGUAGE