Footage of the death of Javier Ambler, a black man who died in custody of Williamson County sheriff's deputies in March 2019, has been deleted by Live PD, the reality TV show that filmed the encounter.
According to a report by the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE, Live PD producers were doing a ride-along with some officers involved in the arrest, which was initiated after Ambler allegedly failed to dim his headlights for oncoming traffic. Filming continued as Ambler was held down by officers and tased four times, even as he cried out that he had congestive heart failure and couldn't breathe.
Live PD advertises that it gives its viewers "unfettered and unfiltered live access inside a variety of the country's busiest police forces," according to A&E's website. Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody has faced criticism and a lawsuit from Williamson County commissioners for contracting with the show.
In a statement, A&E Networks said the Live PD's footage of Ambler's death was not aired live or broadcasted later. The network "no longer retained the unaired footage after learning that the investigation had concluded," according to a statement made to the Statesman.
Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore, who is investigating Ambler's death, said Monday that Chody impeded the investigation by refusing to turn over evidence. However, both the Williamson County Sheriff's Department and A&E Networks claim they were not contacted regarding the investigation. The Travis County DA's office told Austonia that a statement in response is forthcoming.
I look forward to continuing to serve as the Sheriff of Williamson County. https://t.co/a9IUvrZroT— Williamson County Sheriff Chody (@Williamson County Sheriff Chody)1591722137.0
Williamson County commissioners have condemned Chody's department for not cooperating with investigations and have called for his resignation. In a statement, Chody said he will continue to serve as the sheriff.
Dan Abrams, the host of Live PD, tweeted that the show was never asked for the footage.
I appreciate all the questions about the horrible death of Javier Ambler. Unfortunately the @statesman story was fi… https://t.co/DXcaKjOMRf— Dan Abrams (@Dan Abrams)1591749471.0
This story is developing and will be updated.
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