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Texas Sheriff Indicted Over Destruction of ‘Live PD’ Footage in Javier Ambler Case

‘Live PD’ cameras had recorded sheriffs tasing Ambler while he begged for his life

A Texas sheriff has been indicted on an evidence tampering charge for the destruction of “Live PD” footage that showed officers using deadly force on 40-year-old postal worker Javier Ambler, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody has been under investigation since June, a week after the Statesman and KVUE-TV  broke the story that during a shoot in March 2019, “Live P.D.” cameras recorded sheriff’s deputies tasing Ambler while he begged for his life. He later died.

Amid the George Floyd protests in early June, A&E canceled “Live PD” soon after it was revealed that the show had destroyed the footage of Ambler’s final moments.

A&E, Big Fish Entertainment, and former “Live PD” host Dan Abrams did not immediately respond to request for comment Tuesday.

Abrams expressed regret back in June over the destroyed footage, attributing the decision to a “Live PD” policy that footage is deleted after a few weeks to prevent law enforcement from “attempting to use Live PD video to prosecute citizens seen on the footage.”

Exceptions can be made if there is a specific legal request to do so, but Abrams said no requests were made until June 2020, over a year after the incident took place.

“Given what happened, I wish the tape had been preserved and the policy should have had an exception for this sort of situation,” he said. He also clarified that footage of Ambler’s death was never aired on the show due to a policy preventing them from airing fatalities. In retrospect, he said, he wishes the show would have aired “everything up to Javier Ambler’s final moments.”

Additional criminal charges could still be filed against Chody, according to the Statesman. Former Williamson County general counsel Jason Nassour, who was present at the scene, was also charged with evidence tampering, a third-degree felony which can result in two to 10 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

Chody has denied tampering with evidence and accused the Williamson and Travis County district attorneys of falsely prosecuting against him while he is up for reelection.

“We are now at one month from the election and the DA is just now acting in a case that is nearly two years old,” he said at a press conference Monday, according to the Statesman.