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Two former Texas deputies have been acquitted in the death of a motorist following a police chase

Two former Texas deputies have been acquitted in the death of a Black motorist who was shot several times with a stun gun following a police chase that was filmed by the now-canceled real-time police TV series “Live PD.”

A Travis County jury on Thursday found former Williamson County deputies Zach Camden and J.J. Johnson not guilty on manslaughter charges in the 2019 death of 40-year-old Javier Ambler II.

Following the verdict, Ambler’s father, Javier Ambler, embraced both Johnson, who is Black, and Camden, who is white, saying “no hard feelings,” before leaving the courtroom, according to local media reports.

Defense attorney Ken Ervin called the charges a “travesty” and said prosecutors were forced to bring the case by Travis County District Attorney José Garza.

“He campaigned specifically on this case prior to his election, and he made them see this through despite the fact there was no crime,” Ervin said.

Garza, in a statement, said his office had hoped the “outcome of this trial would bring justice and closure to the family. We are grateful to our community members who served on the jury for this case, respect their decision, and thank them for their service.”

Johnson had tried to stop Ambler because he failed to dim his headlights to oncoming traffic, then Ambler led police on a chase from Williamson County into Travis County before crashing.

Deputies shot him with a stun gun after he exited the vehicle and police body-camera footage showed Ambler telling the deputies he was not resisting and that he could not breathe because of heart problems.

Williamson County officials later agreed to a $5 million wrongful death lawsuit settlement with Ambler’s family.

“Live PD” was canceled by the A&E Network last year. A&E has said its video never aired because of a policy against showing a death.

Both Camden and Johnson resigned shortly after then-Sheriff Robert Chody was defeated for reelection in November 2020.

Article Topic Follows: AP-National

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