A Texas sheriff who appeared on the hit A&E show "Live PD" has been charged with destroying or concealing evidence related to the death of 40-year-old Javier Ambler when he was in the custody of the Williamson County Sheriff's Department last year.
Local NBC affiliate KXAN reported that Sheriff Robert Chody was arrested Monday and indicted on one count of felony tampering with evidence. Chody's indictment stems from footage shot by cameramen for the "Live PD" show, whose footage captured the 2019 death of Ambler, who is Black, following a chase by law enforcement.
His and the show's involvement in the case led to "Live PD" being canceled by the network amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd and the treatment of Black Americans by police; Chody is accused of ordering that "Live PD" destroy the footage showing Ambler's death, which was never aired.
District Attorney Margaret Moore accused the sheriff's department of "stonewalling" the investigation earlier this year in a tweet no longer available following the deletion of her Twitter account.
“For the last year, [the sheriff's office] has stonewalled our investigation,” Moore wrote, according to KXAN. “What should have been a routine traffic stop ended with Javier’s death.”
The show's former host and executive producer Dan Abrams responded to her claim in June, accusing Moore of sitting on the available body camera footage of the incident until calls for an investigation grew louder.
".@statesman should really focus on the death of Javier Ambler and on the fact that DA @ElectMargaret (note the twitter handle) is suddenly focused on this now even though she had the body cam footage for over a year? Their reporting on #LivePd has been a journalistic disaster," he tweeted at the Austin Statesman following a report in the newspaper about the deleted footage.
.@statesman should really focus on the death of Javier Ambler and on the fact that DA @ElectMargaret (note the twitter handle) is suddenly focused on this now even though she had the body cam footage for over a year? Their reporting on #LivePd has been a journalistic disaster. https://t.co/qLcyeE8lnS— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 10, 2020