More than a year after he died in police custody with cameras from the reality show "Live PD" on the scene, body camera footage and police records show that a Texas man told police multiple times that he couldn't breathe and was suffering from a heart condition as police took him into custody.
According to KVUE-TVin Austin, Texas and the Austin American-Statesman, 40-year-old Javier Ambler died in police custody on March 28, 2019. Ambler had led police and Live PD camera operators on a 22-minute car chase that began when he allegedly failed to dim his headlights to oncoming traffic.
Body camera footage from Ambler's arrest shows that police used stun guns three times while taking him into custody, even after he told police he was suffering from congestive heart failure.
According to KVUE, an autopsy listed Ambler's death a homicide, which was later determined to be a "justifiable homicide." Medical examiners said Ambler's heart condition and his weight "in combination with forcible restraint" led to his death. Examiners also said Ambler was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of his death.
KVUE reports that the most serious charge Ambler would have faced was evading arrest, a low-level felony.
The District Attorney's Office in Travis County told KVUE that they have been investigating Ambler's death but says they've been hindered by a lack of cooperation from the Williamson County Sheriff's Office. Officials also say that Live PD has failed to share their footage from the arrest with investigators.
Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore told KVUE that she feels that Live PD's participation with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office led to Ambler's death.
“It is of very serious concern to any of us who are in law enforcement that the decision to engage in that chase was driven by more of a need to provide entertainment than to keep Williamson County citizens safe,” she said.
Moore told KVUE that she plans to take the case before a Grand Jury later this year.