Law

Williamson County settles Javier Ambler wrongful death lawsuit for $5 million

WILLIAMSON COUNTY (KXAN) — The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a $5M settlement in the Javier Ambler wrongful death lawsuit on Tuesday.

Ambler’s family filed the lawsuit in October.

Ambler died in Williamson County Sheriff’s Office custody in March 2019 after a chase that lasted more than 20 minutes and ended up in Austin. The incident began after deputies said Ambler failed to dim his headlights.

Austin Police Department body camera video showed two camera operators recording Ambler’s arrest for the crime reality show “Live PD.” The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office previously held a prominent role in the weekly national broadcasts.

James Johnson, 36, and Zachary Camden, 26 were Williamson County deputies who were shown using TASERs on Ambler. One of the deputies is also shown with a knee in Ambler’s back as he lay facedown on the road.

Ambler’s family filed the lawsuit against the county, accusing Johnson and Camden of killing Ambler as he told deputies “I can’t breathe,” during the arrest.

Both deputies were charged with manslaughter.

Williamson County will pay approximately $1.6 million and the remainder will be paid by the county’s insurance.

In a statement on Wednesday, attorneys for the Ambler family said:

“While the Ambler family remains devastated by the loss of their son and loving father, they are proud that they fought for him and hope that this settlement and the changes that have occurred in Williamson County, Texas, as a result of this case send a powerful message to law enforcement that ignoring a person’s pleas that they cannot breathe will no longer be tolerated.”

Written by Mayra Monroy

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