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Live PD says video showing in-custody death has been destroyed

A Live PD crew filmed the in-custody death of a black man in Austin, Texas, last year, but representatives of the show said Tuesday the footage can't be turned over to investigators because it has been destroyed.

Javier Ambler, a 40-year-old father of two and former postal worker, died on March 28, 2019, while being arrested by Williamson County sheriff's deputies. On Monday, the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV first reported details of Ambler's death, after obtaining video from a police officer's body cam. There is also dash-cam footage, which has not been released.

Williamson County deputies tried to pull Ambler over after he did not dim his SUV's headlights to oncoming traffic, the Statesman reports. A 20 minute car chase ensued. The body cam footage shows Ambler on a street, being held down by deputies. With the Live PD crew filming, police officers tased Ambler four times. He is heard saying he has congestive heart failure and can't breathe, and after crying out, "Save me," he is hit with the final shock, the Statesman reports.

Live PD airs on A&E, and representatives for the network confirmed that the "tragic death of Javier Ambler" was captured on camera by producers, but it was not aired on the show. Authorities in Austin never asked to see the footage or interview any of the crew, A&E said, and once an internal affairs investigation by Williamson County, just north of Austin's Travis County, found the deputies did nothing wrong, "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."

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore told the Statesman she will take the case to a grand jury, and accused Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody of refusing to turn over evidence. He called the allegations of stonewalling "misleading."