Javier Ambler was killed by police officers in Austin, Texas on March 28, 2019 after he was chased and subdued for failing to dim his high-beam headlights for oncoming traffic.
Here’s how it happened.
According to the Statesman, a cop named Deputy J.J. Johnson (a regular on the trash TV show Live PD but we’ll get to them in a second) gave chase to Ambler after he did not initially stop when the blue lights flashed. After catching up with him, Johnson ordered him to the ground with his gun drawn. When 400-pound Ambler showed Johnson his hands, the cop holstered his gun and pulled out the taser. The internal investigative report states that Ambler turned toward his car door and was shot with the electric device. Deputy Zachary Camden then arrived with the Live PD camera crew and rushed Ambler to taser him again. After being tasered a third time while trying to comply with the officers Javier Ambler said the now infamous words that no Black person ever wants to hear again:
“I have congestive heart failure,” Ambler says. “I have congestive heart failure. I can’t breathe.”
Nowadays that phrase acts as an authorization code for police to detach themselves of all human decency. Ambler continued to desperately plead for his life.
“I am not resisting,” Ambler cries. “Sir, I can’t breathe. … Please. … Please.”
In a last-ditch effort to save his own life, Ambler begs the officers to do what the swore to do, “serve and PROTECT”, when he horrifyingly makes a final, simple, two-word plea.
When one of the cops demands that Javier “Do what we’re asking you to do!” he is met with the reply “I can’t” and is shot with the taser for the fourth and final time at 1:47am. Police immediately realized that Javier was limp, unconscious, and no longer breathing. They had succeeded. Less than an hour later, he was pronounced dead. Live PD captured the whole thing and although they did not air it live or later, the did admit that the video evidence had been destroyed.
A&E’s statement said that Austin investigators had not asked for the video or to interview show producers. “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,” the network said in a statement.
In light of this revelation, there was an online outcry for A&E to cancel Live PD as it is irresponsible and cop-friendly to the point that the public no longer trusts that police brutality clips like this won’t be edited out to keep the pigs with clean images.
Below is an interview that the Statesman did with Javier’s parents Maritza and Javier. Included is the graphic and harrowing body camera footage from that night. Please do not watch if you feel it will negatively impact your mental health. We post it only for posterity and accountability’s sake.
Like so many other Black deaths at the hands of police, this story is just now getting traction but the name Javier Ambler will not be forgotten.