“Live PD” host Dan Abrams is answering questions about why the show, which was canceled Wednesday, destroyed footage of the tragic last moments of 40-year-old postal worker Javier Ambler, who died in police custody last year.
In a lengthy, self-written Q&A on his website Law & Crime, Abrams expressed regret over having not saved the footage, attributing the decision to “Live PD” policy.
“Given what happened, I wish the tape had been preserved and the policy should have had an exception for this sort of situation,” he said. “Many of us were advocating for a change in the policy before the show was canceled.”
The policy in question, he explained, was that footage is deleted after a few weeks to prevent law enforcement from “attempting to use Live PD video to prosecute citizens seen on the footage.”
He added that the footage is saved if there is a specific legal request to do so, but says that no requests were made to save the footage from last March until this week.
“Live PD was there to chronicle law enforcement, not to assist the police as a video repository for prosecuting alleged criminals,” he continued. “In this particular case, the Williamson County Sheriff apparently requested that Live PD retain the video pending an investigation. Live PD did just that for three months until June, 2019 when the Williamson County Sheriff informed Live PD attorneys that their investigation was complete using the body cam footage that they had.”
He also clarified that footage of Ambler’s death was never aired on the show due to a policy preventing them from airing fatalities. In retrospect, he said, he wishes the show would have aired “everything up to Javier Ambler’s final moments.”
“It would have been very difficult to watch but in an ongoing effort to show all sides of policing I wish this had been aired just as we had shown many other controversial moments that led to criticism of, and appreciation for, police,” Abrams wrote.
This article was originally posted on yahoo.com/entertainment/.