WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — On Tuesday, the Williamson County Commissioners Court voted to end its lawsuit against Big Fish Entertainment, LLC, the production company in charge of law enforcement reality show “Live PD” over claims the company filmed in-county after its contract was cancelled by commissioners.
The now-cancelled A&E reality show, akin to Fox’s also-cancelled “Cops,” previously featured the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office performing its various duties, including traffic stops. The series drew ire from Williamson County residents over its affect on WCSO and faced backlash after the death of Javier Ambler.
Ambler died in custody on March 28, after a 22-minute chase was caught on “Live PD” cameras. The footage never aired on TV, however, its destruction by Big Fish Entertainment, LLC sparked controversy and condemnation from investigators at the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.
Travis County DA Margaret Moore said both WCSO and “Live P.D.” refused to hand over the footage. A&E released a statement at the time, saying in part: “Contrary to many incorrect reports, neither A&E nor the producers of Live PD were asked for the footage or an interview by investigators from law enforcement or the District Attorney’s office. 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.”
While the county’s lawsuit with Big Fish is over, commissioners are still suing Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody. Back in March, commissioners also sued Chody for reportedly filming “Live PD” despite the county’s vote against it.
“Sheriff Chody doesn’t need live TV to do his job, but he didn’t like losing the spotlight. More concerned about show business than sheriff business, Sheriff Chody went behind the Commissioners’ backs and secretly and illegally tried to re-contract with the show,” the lawsuit read.
Chody recently lost his bid for re-election. He is also currently under investigation after being arrested and indicted on a felony charge of tampering with evidence in relation to the Ambler case.
Reasonings for the Big Fish lawsuit being dropped have not been released yet.