Javier Ambler died in police custody last year, and now the bodycam footage from the Texas officer responsible for his fatal arrest has surfaced online. In the disturbing clip, Ambler is hit with a stun gun multiple and gasps for air as he tells Williamson County police he has congestive heart failure.
"I can't breathe," he told the police, in a scene that's depressingly familiar with the deaths of George Floyd and Eric Garner fresh in the minds of many. As the 40-year-old father of two struggled to breathe, he pleaded "save me" and was stunned for a fourth time, losing consciousness.
As KVUE-TV reports, Ambler was pulled over on March 28, 2019 by Williamson County Deputy J.J. Johnson. The officer said Javier's brights were still on as his car faced oncoming traffic, and when he didn't pull over he was chased for 22 minutes. Ambler crashed his car near downtown Austin, and he exited his car with his hands on display. Johnson holstered his gun and pulled out his stun gun, telling Ambler to get on the ground.
The victim turned toward his vehicle, which prompted Johnson to use the stun gun for the first time. Javier dropped to his knees and then rolled onto his back after he was stunned. A second Williamson County sheriff's deputy showed up, once again using a stun gun on Ambler. "I am not resisting," he told the officiers. After the fourth and final use of the stun gun, he was put in cuffs. The deputies noticed his pulse had stopped, and they performed CPR until medics arrived. A Live PD camera crew was present at the time of the incident.
Javier Ambler was pronounced dead shortly after.
Content warning: The video embedded below contains graphic footage and viewer discretion is advised.
Following the release of the bodycam footage, Travis County District attorney Margaret Moore said the case will go before a grand jury this summer. Despite this, the Williamson County Sheriff's Office has reportedly tried to halt the investigation.
"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," added Moore.
Ambler's death was ruled a homicide, but so far there's no indication that the officers involved faced any sort of disciplinary action.