AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill banning Texas law enforcement agencies from participating and contracting with reality television shows. The bill goes into effect immediately.
House Bill 54, also known as Javier Ambler’s Law, was named after the man who died in police custody about an hour after his encounter with Williamson County sheriff’s deputies.
State Rep. James Talarico, a Round Rock Democrat, introduced the legislation after Ambler’s March 2019 death. Cameras for the show “Live PD” captured the encounter with Williamson County deputies, but the footage never aired on the now-canceled A&E reality show.
During the agency’s time on the show, one man died, and another was seriously hurt after encounters with deputies. “Live PD” cameras were on scene both times.
The bill passed through the House in April and through the Senate two weeks ago.
Robert Chody, the former Williamson County sheriff, and Jason Nassour, who worked for the county attorney, have both been indicted by two different grand juries over Ambler’s death and specifically what happened to video evidence of that arrest. The indictments charge Chody and Nassour with evidence tampering, a third-degree felony, accusing them of allowing the “Live PD” video to be destroyed.