AUSTIN, Texas — U.S. Senate candidate MJ Hegar was joined by Javier Ambler's sister and mother, Kim Jones and Maritza Ambler, Monday during a press conference to call for police reform and accountability from the Williamson County Sheriff's Office.
Javier Ambler died in March 2019 after a traffic stop involving the sheriff's office and the Austin Police Department. After leading law enforcement on a chase, deputies used a Taser on Ambler after he exited his vehicle, despite him saying he could not breathe and he had a heart condition. The incident was recorded by body cameras and by a "Live PD" television crew.
Hegar said she and the women discussed the importance the upcoming election in advancing police reform. Hegar also called for Sheriff Robert Chody's resignation, citing a lack of transparency from his office and its failure to properly handle the case.
"I want justice for my brother. His story was hidden for so long, and we didn’t have any closure – every day living with the question of how and why," said Kim Jones, Javier Ambler’s sister. "I don’t want his death to be in vain, and I don’t want anyone’s family to experience this pain. We’re tired of this happening over and over again without justice. We’ve got to stop police brutality, bring accountability and speak up at the voting booth to demand change."
"Javier’s family joins a tragically long list of Americans who have experienced pain losing their loved ones too soon to police violence, with no accountability to follow," said Hegar. "This isn’t just a Williamson County, Minneapolis or Louisville problem – this is an American problem. It’s past time for leaders who are committed to stemming the racial injustice that has plagued our institutions for centuries, before it costs more Black Texans their lives. I am proud to stand with Javier’s family as we demand life-saving reform and finally aspire to live up to America’s ideals.”
Hegar, who is currently running against State Sen. Royce West for the Democratic nomination, said she is committed to fighting police brutality and bringing accountability and transparency to law enforcement. Hegar said she supports leaders who want transparency and reform, and she seeks to hold officers who commit brutality and other leaders who spread racist rhetoric accountable.
She also supports the proposals outlined in Campaign Zero, including:
- Ending for-profit policing practices
- Ensuring police departments are a part of and represent the communities they serve
- Ending the militarization of local law enforcement.
Hegar and West will face off in a debate at 6:30 p.m. Monday on KVUE.