Video captured by a reality television production crew showing the death of black man while he was in the custody of law enforcement officers in Texas, has reportedly been destroyed, according to an Austin newspaper.

That means the footage "can no longer be turned over to Austin investigators," reports the Austin American-Statesmen, which was in touch with representatives for the unscripted series Live PD on Tuesday.

Requests for comment to A&E, the cable network that produces the show, were not returned before NPR published this story.

The revelation about the destruction of the video comes after the Statesmen and Austin-based ABC affiliate KVUE reported this week on the details of the March 2019 death of Javier Ambler.

They also obtained body camera footage from an Austin police officer showing Ambler's final moments.

These events come to light as the United States is confronting decades of issues surrounding systemic racism and chronic mistreatment of minority communities by police. The death of George Floyd, a black man, who died last month when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes has sparked protests in the U.S. and internationally.

Aside from their deaths being captured on video, there are other similarities in the way both men died.

The body camera footage shows that, like Floyd, Ambler pleaded for mercy and told Williamson County Sheriff's deputies he couldn't breathe. Ambler was shot repeatedly with a stun gun as law enforcement worked to restrain him. Ambler also told them he suffered from congestive heart failure.

"He cried, 'Save me,' before deputies deployed a final shock," the Statesmen reported.

The paper notes Ambler, who was 40 at the time of his death, was pulled over by Williamson County Sheriff's deputies, who noticed he failed to dim his SUV's headlights to oncoming traffic.

Deputies chased Ambler for 20 minutes after he did not stop, the Statesman reports, which adds Ambler eventually crashed his vehicle.

KVUE reports the sheriff's office attempted to "shield information from release since receiving its first request in February." It also notes Ambler's death was ruled a homicide.

Elected officials in Williamson County, including some members of the County Commissioner's court and Texas State Rep. James Talarico are now calling on Sheriff Robert Chody to resign, member station KUT in Austin reports.

"Your department killed #JavierAmbler, filmed it for a reality TV show, then covered it up for 15 months," Talarico tweeted Wednesday. "I'm not calling for your resignation because I'm a progressive. I'm calling for your resignation because I'm a human being."

Questions also remain about the future of Live PD given its connection to the Ambler incident, and a similar show, COPS, being canceled after 32 seasons.

As NPR's Eric Deggans reports, a spokesperson for A&E said it is evaluating when Live PD may return.

It was pulled earlier this month "out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives, in consultation with the departments we follow," the network said in a statement, according to the entertainment publication Variety.

Dan Abrams, the host of Live PD took to Twitter to tamp down any concern his program would be nixed.

"To all of you asking whether #LivePD coming back. . .The answer is yes," he said.

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