Sheriff Robert Chody is accused of concealing or destroying video evidence that showed the officers pursuing and using force on 40-year-old Javier Ambler back in 2019. The incident was reportedly captured on the “Live PD” cameras and the victim died following a 22-minute car chase by the local deputies.
Ambler, who was a father of two and former postal worker, “died of congestive heart failure and hypertensive cardiovascular disease associated with morbid obesity, in combination with forcible restraint,” reports the outlet. His death was ruled a homicide.
The deputies began their pursuit of Ambler after he failed to dim his lights for oncoming traffic. Once the car chase ended, he was restrained and tased at least three times. Before passing out, he told the officers that he couldn't breathe and had a heart condition. His final moments were caught on the police bodycams, but the prosecutors wanted the footage from the show’s cameras because it offered a clearer view of what happened.
Former Williamson County general counsel Jason Nassour is also accused of destroying recordings “with intent to impair their ability as evidence” in Ambler’s case. He and Chody were charged with felony evidence tampering. The men were released on $10,000 bond. If convicted, they face between two and ten years in prison.
Gerry Morris, Chody’s lawyer, called the indictment “100% baloney.”
“Sheriff Chody gave no order, no direction, instituted no policy, had nothing to do with the destruction of any ‘Live PD’ videos, period,” he said. “There is not a single shred of evidence that says otherwise.”
Ambler’s death ultimately caused the hit show on A&E to be canceled. The network has declined to comment on the charges.