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Ava Speaks Out About Her Son

Jul 9th, 2011 | Category: Bastrop County
Ava Haywood believes her 33 year old son could have been saved if Bastrop County officers had taken him to hospital. She wrote us, asking us to read the news coverage and hear her out regarding the death of her son James Edward Haywood. 
“Please read the interview,” says Ava. “There is a need for justice in my county.  James is not the only black male being profiled. He is just the one who died.”
 Here is the Fox TV interview with her in June, 2012 

 Even though it’s nearly been a year, James Haywood’s mother says she still cannot help but think her son might be alive today, if the two officers transporting him had taken him to a hospital sooner.

“He died in the parking lot of Bastrop County Jail, pulse stopped beating before they even took him to the doctor,” his mother Ava Haywood said.

In the early morning hours of November 27, 2011, Elgin Police responded to a disturbance at a house on Houston Street.

That is where they met 33-year-old James Haywood. According to a justice of the peace report, officers saw him “hold a plastic bag up to his mouth and ingest a white substance,” which later tested positive for cocaine.

“A lot of things run through my mind, even to the fact that I’m not sure he even swallowed it himself,” Ava said.

She said the moment Officers Scott Roberson and Richard Johnson saw her son swallow something they should have taken him to get medical attention.

“What about policy and procedure to serve and protect? That’s policy and procedure too.”

The records show, Haywood was transported to booking for possession of marijuana, then, while they were driving to the Bastrop County Jail, he began seizing.

“It just doesn’t add up to me,” Haywood said. “Maybe if he had been taken an hour and a half before he went into seizures, he would have been saved.”

Travis County medical examiner findings show his official cause of death to be cocaine and ethanol intoxication.

“Why are these officers still able to transport people back and forth to jail? Why are they still able to hold their jobs, and have individual’s lives in their hands?” Haywood asked.

FOX 7 asked Elgin Police Chief, Chris Bratton, if these officers were ever taken off duty or placed on administrative leave, he declined to talk about specifics, but responded by saying:

“If there is little or no nexus between the officers action and the injury or death sustained by a person then the officer is normally not placed on leave of any kind.”

“You don’t take the precautions to save his life until you know what it is, but your job is to protect?” Haywood said.

The JP report even questions why Haywood wasn’t taken to the hospital immediately.

“It’s telling us that they can do what they want to do to us and there’s nothing we can do about it, but accept it,” Haywood said. “It’s telling us if you got a badge, you can do what you want to do.”

Haywood said there’s only one side of the story because this husband and father of six is dead.

“I don’t care what he was, what he did, how he lived, what he said, no one had a right to allow him to die. There need to be more strict rules on them when it comes to what happens to an inmate when they’re in their custody.”



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9 years ago

Regardless of the circumstances, this was a wrongful death and a great lost to us all. The authorities “mission statement” isn’t worth the spelling of it. It is what it is.
James last name is Haywood and that is why he died in the custody of the authorities. We pray daily for strength guidance and closure, but that comes with the admittance of guilt on the Elgin Police Department.

9 years ago

I am angered, overwhelmed, hurt and ashame. I am angered because law enforcement and the judicial system continues to find a way to seek, kill and destroy. Law enforcement continues to find ways to kill and abuse who they choose and there is nothing we can do but accept it. Again we are living in a subtle new form of Jim Crow. I am overwhelmed that the shackles still exist in Bastrop County. I am overwhelmed that such an educated society allows police brutality to exist. I am overwhelmed that the citizens quietly turn the the other cheeks knowing that the next person abused could be their loved one. I am hurt because I assumed that their was more love, more equality for humanity in my community. I am hurt for those that will suffer and myself who sufferes. I hurt for everyone who has lost a loved oneor suffered by police brutality and neglect., I feel the pain of everyone who has an article on this website. I am ashame that I live in a commuinity such as Bastrop County.. I am ashamed that I help place those in control in control. I am ashamed that I played marlbel with many who could change this problem. I am ashame that I live in a state that support police abuse. Oh but I am ashame of it all. It is sad that we as a human race stay the same. Our acts pass and feelings go from one generation to another. I hope I as an indiviual I do not allow this tragedy to make me like those who seek to destroy, kill and abuse others whose lives just happen to cross their paths. God blees Bastrop Texas. Touch the leader and followers. Guide me and fix me to be an instrument through my life to fix this problem. Take away all that is not love and give me strength. So it is written GOD know it will be.

9 years ago

My husband died in brazoria county, Lisandro Torres, he was denied insulin and had an abcessed tooth that developed the month after he was wrongly arrested, my heart go out to you. I went through all the “channels” with no results only to watch my husband die before my eyes, being verbally, mentally and physically abused as they continually claimed he was faking his condition….buy my tragedy does not diminish yours and I pray that you are given the strength that I no longer have. I have run out of money and have court in five weeks and no attorney and still need his med records from Breckenridge in Austin, avidavits from witnesses that have mostly all decided out of fear of our law enforcement to “back out”. I Pray for us both for God to guide us and use us as instruments to show there really is a problem and not be silent and pretend nothing happened…for we are all witnesses