[Warning: Footage is disturbing.]
The production company behind canceled A&E series Live PD has sued the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, the Austin Police Department, and law enforcement officers finished footage surrounding the passing of Javier Ambler. In a suit filed Friday, plaintiffs said that they had been thrown under the bus.
“While the brief but wrongful taking of its cameras and footage by WCSO and APD triggered Big Fish real damage and clearly violated the law, that’s only one harm Big Fish has endured as a result of WCSO and APD’s incorrect opinion that they controlled and had immediate rightful access to Big Fish’s footage,” stated the complaint. “WCSO and APD’s taking on March 28, 2019 was only the beginning of the harm Big Fish endured. The illegal seizure of its footage was premised on the false foundation that WCSO somehow owned or controlled Big Fish’s footage, and a year later that this exact false story was used to fuel a public effort that vilified Big Fish and caused it untold economic harm and reputational harm.”
Live PD producers and cameras were when Williamson County deputies followed Ambler to a chase on March 28, 2019, crossing into Travis County. It started after the man supposedly hadn’t dimmed his top beam headlights at the face of oncoming traffic. He was tased.
From the video, Ambler told authorities he was trying to comply with their requests, which he was not resisting, and that he couldn’t breathe. He became unresponsive, and stayed that way even when authorities performed CPR.
“I can not breathe”
An autopsy determined he died from congestive heart failure and hypertensive cardiovascular disease connected to alcoholism in connection to this”forcible restraint” It was ruled a homicide, however, also a report into the state attorney general’s office said that it might happen to be”justifiable.”
Novel of the footage by local outlets The Austin American-Statesman and also KVUE happened soon after the passing of Minnesota guy George Floyd in police custody. That Minneapolis incident fueled a still ongoing national debate over the law enforcement treats individuals of colour, particularly Black men like him and Ambler. A&E stopped Live PD.
The series never aired the footage. The new lawsuit claims that the chase between Ambler was caught by dash camera footage and Austin Police Department human anatomy camera. In their complaint, Big Fish Amusement said law enforcement never even issued a subpoena for the Ambler footage soon after the person’s death. Authorities simply made a huge deal about it in June 2020, throwing the business below the bus public outcry by indicating Big Fish had been standing in the way of the investigation, according to the complaint.
“no law enforcement authority ever suggested to the Live PD production crew they had footage of a criminal action. Nor did Williamson County or Travis County officials ask to interview the Live PD production crew on the scene or at the months which followed. Indeed, no substantive effort to investigate Mr. Ambler’s passing was undertaken before the people demanded some action, over a year after his death occurred. Williamson County and Travis County’s response was to deflect blame for their very own inexcusable inaction by falsely claiming their efforts have been impeded by Big Fish”
The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Austin Police Department didn’t immediately respond to some Law&Crime petition for comment.
Creator Dan Abrams was the sponsor of Live PD.
[Screengrab through Austin American-Statesman; it depicts Ambler telling officers he had congestive heart failure]
Have a tip we must know? …
[Warning: Footage is disturbing.]