The deputies’ decisions to chase and repeatedly use their Tasers on a man who simply failed to dim his lights prompts questions about the agency’s practice of pursuing drivers for minor crimes.
“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,” said Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore.
…Investigators say Chody and “Live PD” producers have repeatedly stonewalled their efforts to obtain evidence or interviews with the officers involved.
…Backup Deputy Zachary Camden, who is white and was also accompanied by a “Live PD” crew, arrived and shoved his Taser into Ambler’s upper back “in a drive-stun motion.”
As the struggle continued, deputies used a Taser on Ambler a third time, though the report said it was unclear which man deployed his weapon.
…Body camera video from that officer captured the final minutes of Ambler’s life:
Deputies yell at Ambler to lay on his stomach and put his hands behind his back. One presses a Taser into his upper back.
“I have congestive heart failure,” Ambler says. “I have congestive heart failure. I can’t breathe.”
As the deputies scream orders, Ambler, between gasps, tells them he’s trying to follow their commands. Another four times he tells the deputies he can’t breathe.
“I am not resisting,” Ambler cries. “Sir, I can’t breathe. … Please. … Please.”
…A death-in-custody report filed with the Texas attorney general’s office — a procedure required anytime a person dies in police custody — said Ambler did not attempt to, nor did he assault deputies, and he did not verbally threaten others nor attempt to get control of any officers’ weapons.
…Because the chase ended in Austin, the Austin Police Department Special Investigations Unit is investigating with Moore’s Civil Rights Unit.
The Statesman began looking into the case in February after investigators said they were troubled about what they were learning and frustrated that they felt stymied by Williamson County’s failure to cooperate.
Live PD is disgusting.
There need to be some murder charges here.