Texas sheriff indicted for allegedly destroying Live PD footage
Live PD's entanglement with a Texas sheriff has taken a dramatic new turn.
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody has been indicted with evidence tampering for allegedly destroying footage shot for the canceled A&E docu-reality show, the Austin American-Statesman reported Monday.
The footage showed the death of a Black man who died after Chody's deputies used force to arrest him following a vehicular chase 18 months ago.
Previously, A&E said the footage was destroyed because the show doesn't air fatal encounters and nobody in Texas law enforcement had asked for it. "Video of the tragic death of Javier Ambler was captured by body cams worn on the officers involved as well by the producers of Live PD who were riding with certain officers involved," the network said in a statement. "Neither A&E nor the producers of Live PD were asked for the footage or an interview by investigators from law enforcement or the District Attorney's office. As is the case with all footage taken by Live PD producers, we no longer retained the unaired footage after learning that the investigation had concluded. As with all calls we follow, we are not there to be an arm of the police or law enforcement but rather to chronicle what they do and air some of that footage and our policies were in place to avoid having footage used by law enforcement against private citizens."
A&E canceled Live PD in June despite it being the channel's most popular series. The move came amid calls from activists to end the show, which was accused of fostering racist stereotypes along with Paramount Network's similarly canceled Cops.