April 21, 2021

Texas Democrats call for Gov. Greg Abbott to act after Javier Ambler death


Native and state leaders are calling for the resignation of Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody and for the deputies concerned in Javier Ambler’s loss of life to be fired. They’re elevating alarm about one more case of a black particular person dying by the hands of law enforcement officials as folks throughout the nation proceed to march in protest of police brutality and racial injustice, sparked by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Some Texas Democrats are urging Gov. Greg Abbott to name a particular legislative session to cross legal guidelines on policing and legal justice and asking why the governor hasn’t but publicly acknowledged the Ambler case whilst he condemned Floyd’s loss of life as a “horrific act of police brutality” that he mentioned have to be prevented in Texas.

Final 12 months, Williamson County deputies pursued Ambler in a automobile chase for 22 minutes, after making an attempt to drag him over for not dimming his headlights. After he crashed Ambler was held down and shocked with a Taser by the deputies 4 instances earlier than his physique went limp. Ambler informed the officers he had congestive coronary heart failure and couldn’t breath, based on The Austin American-Statesman, which first reported on the newly accessible physique digicam footage this month. Ambler died in a hospital about an hour after he was final shocked with a Taser. He was unarmed and physique digicam footage confirmed he wasn’t resisting.

His loss of life was dominated a murder. Not one of the officers concerned have been arrested or fired.

“That is one other unarmed black man killed in America. This time, it is in our yard. This time, it is our neighbor. This time it was adopted by 15 months of secrecy,” mentioned Rep. James Talarico, a Spherical Rock Democrat, who has referred to as for Chody to resign.

Rep. Celia Israel, D-Austin, wrote a letter to Abbott to name for a particular session. Rep. Lorraine Birabil, D-Dallas, Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, Rep. Michelle Beckley, D-Carrollton, Rep. John Bucy III, D-Austin, and Talarico have additionally referred to as for a particular session.

“As soon as once more, Individuals are mourning a Black man taken by an unjust and lethal police pressure, and this homicide has sparked a nationwide response in opposition to institutional racism and police brutality. Right here in Texas, that is sadly one thing with which we’re all too acquainted,” Israel wrote in a letter to the governor. “Sufficient is sufficient — significant, systemic reform can not wait.”

Abbott didn’t reply to request for remark for this story.

Texas Democratic Celebration Chair Gilberto Hinojosa referred to as on GOP leaders to affix Democrats in demanding justice for Ambler.

“Texas’ Republican management — Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov Patrick, and Sens. Cornyn and Cruz — should be part of Texas Democrats in calling for his immediate resignation and full accountability,” he mentioned.

All 4 of the Republicans condemned Floyd’s loss of life, and the actions of the Minneapolis police division, nonetheless, they haven’t publicly acknowledged Ambler’s case.

Requires Chody’s ouster have come from his personal county’s commissioners, state representatives and former presidential candidate Julián Castro.

“The one pure response could be for Williams County Sheriff Chody to resign, for the officers to lose their job. And for there to be an unbiased investigation of the division,” Talarico mentioned.

Chody has mentioned he won’t resign, and forged those that name for his elimination as being anti-police.

“Consultant Talarico has executed zero for legislation enforcement regarding the county in his two years in workplace. One other progressive who needs to defund police. I’ll settle for his resignation as an alternative,” he tweeted in response to Talarico’s feedback.

Williamson County sheriff’s division maintains that its deputies did nothing fallacious, based on an inside affairs investigation obtained by the Statesman.

Of Williamson County’s 4 commissioners, two — Cynthia Lengthy and Terry Cook dinner — referred to as for Chody’s resignation and the opposite two condemned his actions, based on experiences.

In an electronic mail, Cook dinner declined remark however mentioned the county “can not fireplace any elected officers.”

Chody couldn’t be reached for remark.

These calls to motion come as protests sparked by Floyd — a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes — have initiated a nationwide reimagining of policing throughout the nation.

Along with the physique digicam footage, the incident was additionally caught on digicam for an episode of “Stay PD”, a not too long ago canceled police actuality present that by no means aired.

In a tweet, Chody denied accusations from Travis County DA Margaret Moore that he’s purposefully slowed the investigation of Ambler’s loss of life or tried to cowl it up.

Chody mentioned his workplace turned over their footage of the incident and “participated totally” within the Austin Police Division’s investigation.

“Travis County D.A. Moore must concentrate on finishing her 16-month-old Ambler investigation. As an alternative, she is making an attempt guilty her personal failures on the Williamson County Sheriff’s Division,” Chody tweeted.

Sen. John Whitmire, chair of the Senate Prison Justice Committee, proposed the Texas Rangers take over the investigation into Ambler’s loss of life, based on experiences.

Final week, Texas Legal professional Basic Ken Paxton requested the Legislature to permit his workplace to analyze situations when police kill folks in a Statesman op-ed. At present, the officer’s company is accountable for conducting that investigation.

“In relation to officer-involved deaths, native companies want extra accountability,” Paxton wrote. “… On condition that truth, it’s not cheap to anticipate native prosecutors to simply flip to analyze and even prosecute these with whom they work frequently.”



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