Texas sheriff and former county lawyer indicted on proof tampering prices in Javier Ambler’s demise, a Black man who died throughout arrest

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Ambler, 40, died in March 2019 after a automotive chase that began in Williamson County, Texas, and ended within the close by metropolis of Austin.

Through the arrest, Ambler could be heard on physique digital camera footage telling sheriff’s deputies he could not breathe a number of instances. However there was additionally extra video from the A&E actuality present “Reside PD,” that accompanied officers on the chase. The district lawyer introduced in June that Williamson County staff had been in contact with the present, which has since been canceled.

A&E has stated the footage by no means aired and that the community and its producers have been by no means “requested for the footage or an interview by investigators from regulation enforcement or the district lawyer’s workplace.”

CNN reached out to A&E for additional remark Tuesday.

Chody and Nassour have been each arrested and launched on bond earlier Monday, Williamson County District Legal professional Shawn Dick stated in a information convention. Their first court docket date is scheduled for November 30.

In a press convention on Monday, Chody denied the cost. The sheriff and his lawyer criticized the district attorneys of each Williamson and neighboring Travis counties for utilizing him as a “scapegoat” after they failed to research Ambler’s demise till greater than a 12 months after the incident.

CNN reached out to the Williamson County Legal professional’s Workplace for remark from Nassour on Tuesday.

Indictment mentions video and audio recordings

The Williamson County District Legal professional’s workplace says it was notified in Could 2020 of Ambler’s demise.

In June, the district lawyer’s workplace introduced it was investigating the doable tampering of proof “by personnel from Williamson County Businesses who’ve had contact or communications with the tv present, ‘Reside PD.'”

“Along with the Travis County District Legal professional’s Workplace and the Austin Police Division Particular Investigations Unit, we introduced this info to a Williamson County grand jury,” Dick stated this week. “As that investigation continued, the Williamson County grand jury heard from 19 completely different witnesses.”

3 recordings. 3 cries of 'I can't breathe.' 3 black men dead after interactions with police

Whereas the indictment doesn’t particularly point out “Reside PD,” it alleges that Chody and Nassour acted to “destroy or conceal a file, doc, or factor; particularly, video recordings and audio recordings, with intent to impair their availability as proof within the investigation.”

The offense is a third-degree felony. If discovered responsible, Chody and Nassour may withstand 10 years in jail.

Dan Abrams, who previously hosted the present, instructed CNN in June there was a coverage in place for the present to destroy footage after a sure time frame. He stated the video was retained for 3 months per the request of Williamson County whereas they investigated the incident.

“They then knowledgeable ‘Reside PD’ the investigation was over. That was a 12 months in the past. That was the final anybody from ‘Reside PD’ had heard in regards to the video,” Abrams stated.

Bodycam footage captured the arrest

Authorities launched physique digital camera footage of Ambler’s demise in June, and it gained nationwide consideration following the demise of George Floyd whereas in Minneapolis police custody.
Prosecutors are investigating possible evidence tampering in Javier Ambler's death

The video exhibits deputies making an attempt to handcuff Ambler as he is on the bottom outdoors his automotive, which authorities stated got here to relaxation after a minor crash throughout a automobile pursuit within the early morning hours of March 28, 2019.

Ambler acquired out of his automobile together with his arms raised however resisted deputies’ makes an attempt to handcuff him and refused to observe instructions, based on a report from the Williamson County Sheriff’s Workplace. Not less than one deputy used a Taser on Ambler, the report says.

Within the video, recorded by the physique digital camera of an Austin police officer, deputies are seen combating Ambler by the point the officer arrives.

Ambler says, “I’ve congestive coronary heart failure,” in addition to “I can not breathe,” a number of instances.

Inside minutes, Ambler was handcuffed and officers seem to comprehend he was unresponsive. Officers eliminated {the handcuffs} and tried CPR, however Ambler was pronounced useless at a close-by hospital shortly after.

CNN’s Jason Hanna, Amir Vera and Ed Lavandera contributed to this report.

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