Ambler, a 40-year-old Pflugerville resident, was driving through Williamson County on March 28, 2019, when he failed to dim his headlights to oncoming traffic, per reports. Williamson County sheriffs engaged in a 22-minute police chase with Ambler, who crashed his vehicle in North Austin. The sheriffs tased Ambler at least three times, according to reports, even after Ambler informed them that he had a heart condition.
"Another unarmed black man was killed by police in America," Talarico said in the release. "This time, it was our neighbor. This time, it was followed by 15 months of secrecy. This time, it was filmed by a TV crew for entertainment. His name was Javier Ambler, and he deserves justice."
"I call on Sheriff Chody to resign, but this problem does not begin or end with him," Talarico continued. "Our system of policing is deeply broken. We must replace it with something new and something better. As they have throughout our history, the voices in the street—particularly black voices—are calling us to live up to our highest ideals. We must listen; then, we must act.”
In a June 9 tweet, Chody responded to Talarico's calls for his resignation and said that Talarico "has done zero for law enforcement in regards to the county in his two years in office."
Representive Talarico has done zero for law enforcement in regards to the county in his two years in office. Another progressive who wants to defund police. I’ll accept his resignation instead. https://t.co/wAS9vdqJ7O
— Williamson County Sheriff Chody (@SheriffChody) June 9, 2020
Talarico's statement follows calls for resignation from Williamson County Commissioners Cynthia Long and Terry Cook during the Williamson County Commissioners Court's June 9 meeting.
“[Chody’s] actions and failure of leadership demonstrates he lacks the moral authority to be a cop, and much, much less Williamson County's top cop,” Long said. “This tragedy occurred on Robert Chody’s watch. The deputies involved should be fired immediately, and all involved must cooperate fully with the investigation.”
Chody, responding to Long and Cook's statements on Twitter, said he will continue working as Williamson County Sheriff and claimed that he has, in fact, worked in compliance with the Austin Police Department's investigation.
"The facts are that our department remains willing to participate in the Travis County [District Attorney]'s investigation, but we have not been asked to do so," he said. "We participated in the [Austin Police Department] investigation, the results of which are available to the Travis County D.A."
Ali Linan contributed to this report.