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Javier Ambler Death Video Shows Black Man’s Final Moments



Body camera footage captured Javier Ambler pleading that he had congestive heart failure and couldn’t breathe as two Texas sheriff’s deputies repeatedly shocked him with stun guns.

The video was published by the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV in June last year after months of record requests about Ambler’s death.

Ambler had been driving home after playing poker with friends in the early hours of March 28, 2019, when Williamson County Deputy James Johnson started chasing him for failing to dim his headlights, the newspaper reported at the time.

The 40-year-old Black postal worker crashed near downtown Austin after a 22-minute pursuit.

Warning: Graphic footage

Johnson, who is also Black, drew his gun and demanded Ambler exit his car, raise his hands and get on the ground, the American-Statesman reported.

Ambler, described as a 400-pound former football player, exited the vehicle and showed his hands, prompting Johnson to holster his gun and pull out his stun gun. “Get down!” Johnson said several times, the newspaper reported.

According to an internal investigative report, Ambler appeared to turn toward his car door and Johnson deployed the Taser. That caused Ambler to drop to one knee, roll onto his back and stomach. “You’ll get it again!” Johnson shouted when it seemed Ambler was trying to stand.

Another deputy, Zachary Camden, who is white, arrived and used his stun gun on Ambler’s back. Ambler was struck with a stun gun a third time, but the report said it was unclear which deputy deployed it.

Moments later, an Austin police officer arrived on the scene—and it was his body camera that captured Ambler’s final pleas for help.

“Give me your hands or I’m going to Tase you again!” a deputy is heard yelling in the clip.

“I have congestive heart failure,” Ambler responds. “I have congestive heart failure. I can’t breathe.”

Two former Texas deputies have been indicted on manslaughter charges in the death of Javier Ambler.
Javier Ambler/Facebook

As the deputies continue to yell orders, Ambler tells them he’s trying to follow their commands and repeatedly says he can’t breathe, between gasps.

“Sir, I’m not resisting,” Ambler cries. “I can’t breathe… Please.”

The deputies continue yelling at him to put his arms behind his back.

“Save me,” Ambler cries.

“Do what we’re asking you to do!” one deputy yells.

“I can’t,” Ambler responds in what the last words captured on the video before one of the deputies fired his stun gun a fourth and final time.

The deputies later realized Ambler was unresponsive and performed CPR until paramedics arrived. Ambler was pronounced dead in hospital.

Both Johnson and Camden were accompanied by crews from Live PD, a police reality television series that was canceled by the A&E Network after it was reported they had filmed Ambler’s death. The network said that footage never aired and has been destroyed.

Ambler’s death was ruled a homicide, according to a custodial death report from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office. His cause of death was listed as congestive heart failure and hypertensive cardiovascular disease associated with morbid obesity “in combination with forcible restraint.”

Johnson and Camden were charged with second-degree manslaughter after a grand jury indicted them this week.

It came after former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with evidence in the investigation into Ambler’s death.



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