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Politics

'Javier Ambler Law' Passes Texas Senate, Heads To Gov. Greg Abbott's Desk

A mural of Javier Ambler created by Williamson County portrait artist Devon Clarkson.
Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT
A mural of Javier Ambler created by Williamson County portrait artist Devon Clarkson. Ambler died while being detained by Williamson County Sheriff's deputies in March 2019.

A bill that would prohibit law enforcement agencies from entering into contracts with reality television shows is now headed to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk.

The Texas Senate passed House Bill 54 on Thursday. The measure was authored by state Rep. James Talarico, D-Round Rock, who calls the bill "Javier Ambler's Law."

Ambler was a 40-year-old Black man who died in March 2019 after Williamson County deputies chased him for 22 minutes for failing to dim his headlights to oncoming traffic. When Ambler stopped, the officers used their tasers on him while he repeatedly told them he had a heart condition and couldn't breathe. Ambler died shortly after.

A crew with the now-canceled reality television show “Live PD” was traveling with the deputies and filmed the incident. The show had a contract with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department at that time.

Former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody and Williamson County’s former general counsel, Jason Nassour, are currently facing evidence tampering charges related to the destruction of the footage that captured Ambler's death.

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