A Texas Sharif who performed on controversial reality show “Live PD” was apprehended on Monday based on Prove Interfering charges in the case of a Black man who died in police custody.
Williamson County Sharif Robert Chody is accused of destroying or concealing audio and video footage that showed his deputies pursuing and using force on Javier Ambler, 40, in March 2019, according to an indictment.
The footage was captured by Live PD cameras on the night that Ambler, a former postal worker and the father of two, died following a 22-minute car chase by Williamson County deputies.
Ambler’s death – and the questions over the destroyed “Live PD” footage – ignited a controversy that led to the cancellation of the hit A&E show in June.
Former Williamson County general counsel Jason Nassour is also accused of destroying the recordings “with intent to impair their ability as evidence” in the investigation of Ambler’s death.
Both men were indicted on a felony evidence tampering charge. They’re expected to be arraigned Monday afternoon.
The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Representatives for A&E also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ambler’s final moments were captured on police body cameras, but prosecutors had sought the Live PD footage because it likely offered the clearest view of the fatal confrontation.
Deputies began pursuing Ambler for allegedly failing to dim his headlights to oncoming traffic. The car chase ended in Austin where Ambler was restrained and tased at least three times.
Before losing consciousness, Ambler told the officers he had a heart condition and said he couldn’t breathe.
Ambler died of congestive heart failure and hypertensive cardiovascular disease associated with morbid obesity, in combination with forcible restraint, according to a custodial death report filed with the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
The manner of death was ruled a homicide. An internal Williamson County investigation cleared the deputies involved in the encounter of wrongdoing.
But the deputies, James Johnson and Zach Camden, remain under investigation by Austin police and Travis County prosecutors.