Javier Ambler, Ellison High Grad, Died In Williamson County Police Custody
WARNING: THE VIDEO ABOVE MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME VIEWERS.
As national focus continues to be on police brutality and reform across the country in light of the deaths of George Floyd and many others, a year-long investigation into the death of a Black man while in police custody in nearby Williamson County has gained national attention.
According to KVUE and the Austin American Statesman, 40-year-old Javier Ambler was driving home from a poker game on March 28, 2019 when he failed to dim the headlights of his SUV to oncoming traffic. A Williamson County sheriff’s deputy initiated a stop and began chasing him for the minor traffic violation. After Ambler apparently refused to pull over, a pursuit took place that lasted 22 minutes and ended when Ambler’s Honda Pilot crashed north of Downtown Austin.
Several Williamson County deputies would deploy tasers onto Ambler, who in the struggle with officers told them that he had congestive heart failure and was heard telling officers "I can't breathe" on several occasions while cameras from the hit TV show "Live PD" captured the entire incident.
Minutes later, Ambler, a father of 2 children, son of an Army veteran whose family settled in Killeen outside Fort Hood and who also played football for Ellison High School and Blinn College before transferring to Texas Prairie View A&M University, was dead.
Ambler's death was ruled a "homicide" by officials, and body cam video has just been released of what happened that night that raises questions into the WCSO's handling of the case.
The Travis County District Attorney's Office plans to take Ambler's case to a grand jury to learn more about what happened and to help determine whether a crime was committed. Investigators also feel as though Williamson County officials have stonewalled the investigation by a lack of cooperation, and they are troubled that "Live PD" has not released any footage they collected that night.
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