*The case of a Texas man who died while in police custody in Texas last year is receiving national attention amid the ongoing protests across the nation over the death of George Floyd.
Bodycam footage has emerged showing Javier Ambler, 40, repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” during his arrest. He reportedly led officers on a 22-minute chase following a routine traffic stop for failing to dim headlights for oncoming traffic, per PEOPLE. He was tased four times after the chase and his arrest was filmed as part of the popular show “Live PD.”
“I have congestive heart failure,” Ambler tells officers in the footage. “I can’t breathe.”
His death was ruled a homicide, according to NBC station KXAN. The outlet reported that Ambler died of “congestive heart failure and hypertensive cardiovascular disease associated with morbid obesity, in combination with forcible restraint.”
Meanwhile, the Travis County District Attorney has been “fighting” with the Williamson County Sheriff’s office over the past year for the release of footage of the arrest.
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Over the last year, the District Attorney’s Office has been fighting with Williamson County Sheriff’s Office to have Live PD video footage related to Javier Ambler’s death released. What should have been a routine traffic stop, ended with Javier’s death.
— Margaret Moore (@ElectMargaret) June 8, 2020
#ICantBreathe number 2!
This needs to stop!
A black father-of-two died when deputies used a Taser on him while he screamed ‘I can’t breathe!’ during filming of the police TV show Live PD. Javier Ambler suffered from congestive heart failure.#PoliceBrutality pic.twitter.com/PEtYRdXz7c
— Sam Mendes (@SamMendes92) June 9, 2020
“Over the last year, the District Attorney’s Office has been fighting with Williamson County Sheriff’s Office to have Live PD video footage related to Javier Ambler’s death released,” Margaret Moore said in a statement via Twitter. “What should have been a routine traffic stop, ended with Javier’s death.”
“For the last year, Wilco has stonewalled our investigation,” Moore continued. “We planned to take this case before a grand jury in April, but bc of COVID-19 we’ll be empaneling this summer. We’re taking this case seriously & working to seek justice for Javier & his family.”
Wilco Sheriff’ Robert Chody issued the following statement on Tuesday: “While we cannot comment on the Ambler incident due to the ongoing investigation by the Travis County D.A., we can correct misleading statements made by the Travis County D.A.,” he said, adding that the sheriff’s department “remains ready and willing to participate in the investigation being conducted by the Travis County D.A.’s office.”
Chody added, “Any attempt to say we have slowed or otherwise impeded the investigation is absolutely false.”
A&E, the network behind “Live PD,” said it has not received a request for the footage.
“Video of the tragic death of Javier Ambler was captured by body cams worn on the officers involved as well by the producers of Live PD who were riding with certain officers involved,” the statement said.
“The incident did not occur while Live PD was on the air, but rather during the show’s hiatus, when producers are regularly out in the field gathering footage. The footage never aired on Live PD per A&E’s standards and practices because it involved a fatality.”
“Immediately after the incident, the Austin Police Department conducted an investigation using the body cam footage they had from the officers,” the statement continued. “Contrary to many incorrect reports, neither A&E nor the producers of Live PD were asked for the footage or an interview by investigators from law enforcement or the District Attorney’s office.”
“As is the case with all footage taken by Live PD producers, we no longer retained the unaired footage after learning that the investigation had concluded.”
“As with all calls we follow, we are not there to be an arm of the police or law enforcement but rather to chronicle what they do and air some of that footage and our policies were in place to avoid having footage used by law enforcement against private citizens,” the statement said.