Texas sheriff indicted after probe into Black man's death

A Texas sheriff has been indicted on fees accusing him of destroying or concealing video in an investigation into the loss of life in custody of a Black guy, Javier Ambler, that was once filmed through a police truth TV sequence “Are living PD.”

AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas sheriff has been indicted on fees of destroying or concealing video in an investigation into the loss of life in custody of a Black guy, Javier Ambler, that was once filmed through the police truth TV sequence “Are living PD,” prosecutors mentioned Monday.

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody was once booked Monday into his prison on a $10,000 bond and launched a short while later. The third-degree legal price is punishable through as much as 10 years in jail.

The indictment comes as prosecutors in Austin one by one examine using power in Ambler’s loss of life in March 2019, when the 40-year-old former postal employee was once pulled over for allegedly failing to dim his headlights to oncoming visitors. The visitors prevent was once filmed for the real-time police display “Are living PD,” which was once canceled through the A&E Community in June.

“The Are living PD video could be wholly subject material to the investigation into use of power,” Travis County District Lawyer Margaret Moore mentioned at a information convention.

A&E has mentioned its video by no means aired as a result of a coverage in opposition to appearing a loss of life, and it didn’t stay the photos after it was once knowledgeable that the preliminary investigation had closed.

Ambler died after Williamson County sheriff’s deputies again and again used stun weapons on him, in spite of his pleas that he was once unwell and couldn’t breathe. Chody, a Republican who’s working for reelection in November, has confronted calls to renounce since video of the visitors prevent was once printed through the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV in June.

Court docket data display Chody is accused of destroying or concealing recordings “with intent to impair their skill as proof within the investigation” into Ambler’s loss of life. Chody mentioned he by no means tampered with proof and accused prosecutors of bringing the case to a grand jury to avoid wasting their political careers and harm his personal possibilities of holding his process.

Chody, who mentioned he would now not step down whilst underneath indictment, mentioned Are living PD was once by no means contacted through prosecutors for photos right through the preliminary investigation.

“From the start, the Ambler incident has been hampered through prosecutors failing to behave, after which making an attempt to cross off duty,” Chody informed journalists a couple of hours after his liberate from prison.

The reserving picture posted through the prison presentations Chody dressed in a go well with and a grin, status in entrance of the Williamson County Sheriff’s Administrative center brand.

Jeff Edwards, an lawyer for the Ambler circle of relatives, launched a observation announcing the alleged destruction of proof is in the back of the “sluggish tempo of justice on this case.”

“It kind of feels the Sheriff was once extra enthusiastic about being a part of a truth tv program and offering entertaining video content material than protective the lives of Black voters he was once sworn to offer protection to,” the observation learn. “If true, such shameful conduct through a legislation enforcement chief is placing proof that there must be a sweeping, systematic overhaul of our machine of policing.”

Police frame digital camera video of Ambler’s loss of life presentations the gasping 400-pound (180-kilogram) guy telling the deputies that he needs to conform to their calls for however that he can’t as a result of he has congestive center failure.

“I’m really not resisting,” Ambler cries. “Sir, I will be able to’t breathe. … Please. … Please.”

Investigators with the Williamson County sheriff’s division of inside affairs decided that the deputies didn’t violate pursuit or use-of-force insurance policies. Their record doesn’t point out whether or not the deputies had been disciplined or pressured to take go away.

A&E has mentioned its video by no means aired as a result of a coverage in opposition to appearing a loss of life, and it didn’t stay the photos after it was once knowledgeable that the preliminary investigation had closed. A&E mentioned neither the community nor the display’s manufacturers “had been requested for the photos or an interview through investigators from legislation enforcement or the District Lawyer’s place of work.”

Moore mentioned a separate grand jury in Austin will most probably start listening to further proof in November.

Ambler’s loss of life was once dominated a murder, in keeping with the record made to the state lawyer normal’s place of work, which famous it will had been “justifiable.” An post-mortem printed he died of congestive center failure and hypertensive heart problems related to morbid weight problems “together with forcible restraint.”

Chody, who is looking for a 2nd time period, stayed in legislation enforcement even after he and his spouse gained a $51 million Texas Lottery jackpot in 2001.

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