By Roger Kuessey
On Thursday evening, former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody surrendered himself at the Travis County Jail following new evidence-tampering charges over the police murder of Javier Ambler. Third-degree felony charges were levied in Travis County, adding to similar charges against Chody in Williamson County.
Chody was indicted for the first time last September for destroying video evidence of Ambler’s murder by Williamson County Deputies. Despite indictments in two counties, Sheriff Chody has seen little time behind bars. His initial indictment on September 28 set his bail at $10,000, which Chody quickly posted and then walked free the same day. This new charge set an increased bail of $15,000, which Chody immediately posted as well.
Chody’s charges come one day after Austin lawyer Jason Nassour, general counsel for the Williamson County Attorney’s Office and representative of Sherriff Chody, was also indicted for related charges of evidence-tampering. Nassour continues to be employed by Williamson County.
Last week, former Williamson County Deputies J.J. Johnson and Zach Camden were charged by a grand jury with manslaughter for their roles in the murder of Ambler. Catering to the cameras of the now-cancelled reality tv show LivePD, the deputies pursued a high-speed chase of Ambler which ended with the deputies restraining Ambler, then tasing him to death as he struggled to breathe.
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, Austin’s top cop, has been using the string of charges against officers as a means to raise his profile and sanitize the imperialist state, pushing the false idea that he can provide justice for the victims of the police’s reactionary violence.
On Monday, the two-year anniversary of Ambler’s murder was commemorated during a press conference held by the families of Alex Gonzales Jr. and Garrett Foster. An activist read a letter written by Ambler’s sister as the families raised the call for People’s Justice for their loved ones.
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