2 former Texas deputies acquitted in death of man who was tased following police chase

Trending 2 months ago

Two erstwhile Texas sheriff’s deputies were acquitted of each charges successful nan death of a Black man who was tased respective times pursuing a constabulary chase that was captured connected nan reality tv show "Live PD."

James Johnson and Zachary Camden, 2 erstwhile deputies pinch nan Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, were recovered not blameworthy by a Travis County assemblage conscionable aft 8 p.m. Thursday, defense lawyer Ken Ervin said.

They were cleared connected charges of manslaughter, criminal negligent homicide, and battle successful nan March 2019 decease of Javier Ambler.

Ambler, 40, died successful constabulary custody aft he was tased 4 times. He had told nan deputies he had bosom issues and could not breathe.

Javier Ambler.Javier Ambler.Facebook

The verdict was handed down pursuing a nine-day trial. After nan determination was announced, Ambler’s father, Javier Ambler Sr., embraced Johnson and Camden and said "no difficult feelings" earlier leaving, NBC connection KXAN of Austin reported.

Travis County District Attorney José Garza said he had hoped nan result of nan proceedings "would bring justness and closure" for Ambler’s family. 

"Our hearts proceed to break for nan family of Javier Ambler," he said successful a statement. "We are grateful to our organization members who served connected nan assemblage for this case, respect their decision, and convey them for their service."

Ervin said Friday that Camden and Johnson’s records will beryllium expunged.

The younger Ambler had led authorities connected a 22-minute pursuit aft Williamson County deputies tried to extremity him for failing to dim his headlights for oncoming traffic, according to a constabulary report. The pursuit began successful Williamson County astir 1:30 a.m. on March 28, 2019, and ended successful northbound Austin.

Austin Police Department besides responded to nan scene. At nan time, nan erstwhile A&E reality tv show "Live PD" was filming sheriff’s deputies.

Body camera video from an Austin constabulary serviceman showed Ambler connected nan crushed pinch respective officers. An serviceman told Ambler to springiness him his hands aliases he would beryllium tased again, according to nan video.

Ambler told authorities that he had congestive bosom nonaccomplishment and that he could not breathe. He was restrained and tased astatine slightest 3 times.

His mode of decease was declared a homicide, according to a custodial decease study revenge pinch nan Texas Office of nan Attorney General. Ambler died of congestive bosom nonaccomplishment and hypertensive cardiovascular illness associated pinch morbid obesity, successful operation pinch forcible restraint, nan study said.

Ambler's family filed a wrongful decease lawsuit successful 2020, alleging that sheriff’s deputies engaged successful a reckless pursuit of Ambler to make entertaining tv for "Live PD." A&E canceled nan show successful 2020.

In 2021, nan region reached a $5 cardinal settlement pinch Ambler's family.

Both Camden and Johnson resigned soon aft then-Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody mislaid reelection successful November 2020.

Minyvonne Burke

Minyvonne Burke is a elder breaking news newsman for NBC News.