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Black man who died after traffic stop in Williamson County heard saying ‘I can’t breathe’ on video
(Facebook)

Javier Ambler died in the custody of Williamson County sheriff's deputies.

Body cam footage of an attempted arrest by the Williamson County Sheriff's Office shows a black man telling deputies "I can't breathe" before he died in custody.


Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said the Williamson County Sheriff's Office has "stonewalled" investigations of the death of Javier Ambler, though the county has refuted the accusations.

Ambler was driving home on March 28, 2019 when he allegedly failed to dim his headlights for oncoming traffic, according to an investigation by the Austin American Statesman and KVUE. A Williamson County deputy initiated a stop that led to a 22-minute chase which ended when Ambler's vehicle crashed. As officers restrained Ambler, they reportedly tased him at least three times, even as Ambler said, "I have congestive heart failure," and, "I can't breathe."

Moore said the Williamson County Sheriff's Office impeded the investigation by not allowing footage to be released from the reality television show "Live PD," who was on the scene at the time of Ambler's death. Two Williamson County commissioners have since called for the resignation of Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody, who has previously faced criticism for contracting with Live PD.

On May 18, the Texas Attorney General ruled that at least some materials from the Williamson County Sheriff's Office's internal affairs documents had to be released. The report released 10 days later found no wrongdoing by deputies.

The Williamson County Sheriff's Office released a statement from Sheriff Chody refuting Moore's claims of impeding the investigation, stating Moore's office had not contacted the sheriff's office about the investigation.

"Any attempt to say we have slowed or otherwise impeded the investigation is absolutely false," the statement read. "We participated fully in the investigation launched by the Austin Police Department, the results of which have been forwarded to the Travis County D.A."

Sheriff Chody said that while the department does not control Live PD footage, he joins Moore in requesting the footage be released to Travis County prosecutors.


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