A person whose 2019 arrest was filmed for actuality TV present Reside PD is suing Williamson County, Texas, as he believes he was arrested in a ‘humiliating vogue’ to make for extra entertaining TV.
Scott Lewis, 31, was arrested in Austin in January 2019 after a site visitors cease and claims that he suffered a damaged shoulder whereas in custody, which nonetheless causes him ache in the present day, as a result of extreme pressure utilized by deputies to indicate off for the TV cameras.
In his lawsuit, Lewis claims that he was detained for a ‘extended time frame’ in order that the digital camera crews had time to reach and that he was moved to a second location for ‘a extra appropriate filming surroundings’.
Reside PD was canceled in June 2020 amid the unrest following George Floyd‘s loss of life in police custody, however Williamson County had canceled their contract with the present earlier than this in August 2019.
Scott Lewis, 31, was arrested in Austin in January 2019 after a site visitors cease (pictured above) and claims that he suffered a damaged shoulder whereas in custody, which nonetheless causes him ache in the present day, as a result of extreme pressure utilized by deputies to indicate off for the TV cameras
Lewis is suing Williamson County claiming he was arrested extra violently to make ‘extra entertaining TV’. The swimsuit claims that Lewis (pictured above) ‘suffered vital hurt together with the lack of his employment and vital emotional misery’ from the arrest
It got here after the March 2019 loss of life of Javier Ambler, 40, whereas in Williamson County deputies’ custody.
Ambler died after being tased and pleading with officers that he could not breathe. His arrest was additionally filmed by Reside PD though it by no means aired.
Lewis’ lawsuit references Ambler’s loss of life for example of the tradition that had been cultivated across the present and the way deputies had been inspired to escalate conditions for the cameras.
It claims former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody would promote the present on social media and ‘inspired and incentivized his officers to create extra entertaining tv’.
‘[Former] Sheriff Chody created a tradition across the present that rewarded the escalation of battle and violence,’ it reads.
‘This minor site visitors offense was became tv spectacle although an pointless police chase that turned lethal after the suspect surrendered to authorities and regardless of informing them of his well being situations was repeatedly tased and in the end died in consequence thereof,’ it provides of Ambler’s loss of life.
Lewis additionally claims that deputies had been in violation of the Individuals with Disabilities Act after they used extreme pressure, even after he had made them conscious of his psychological well being points.
He claims he had a panic assault whereas being assaulted and restrained by personnel on the jail and suffered a damaged shoulder in consequence.
‘On account of being ridiculed on the present, [Lewis] suffered vital hurt together with the lack of his employment and vital emotional misery,’ the lawsuit reads.
Sheriff Robert Chody (pictured) was accused of destroying video proof referring to the investigation into loss of life in police custody of Javier Ambler in March 2019
Javier Ambler, 40, died in police custody in Austin final 12 months whereas TV present Reside PD was filming
In an interview with NBC final 12 months, Lewis revealed that he had an elevated dependence on alcohol to assist him take care of anxiousness within the lead as much as his arrest.
It was among the many aftereffects of a traumatic mind harm he sustained in a hit-and-run-accident.
Simply weeks earlier than the arrest, he had attended an inpatient rehabilitation program. But he relapsed and was driving drunk when pulled over by the Williamson County deputies.
Within the clip aired of his arrest, Lt. Grayson Kennedy locations him in handcuffs and factors out that Lewis had urinated on himself.
It additionally exhibits Kennedy pinning Lewis towards the automobile after he asks for his full title.
Lewis has claimed that Kennedy was not a part of his preliminary arrest and solely turned up with the digital camera crew.
Scott Lewis has been extremely essential of the sheriff’s workplace following his arrest
He has accused them of attempting to impress him through the arrest so they might use pressure
‘I felt they had been attempting to instigate the state of affairs so they might tase me, however I stored my composure,’ he says in a video posted to his YouTube channel.
‘I sat there, and I took all their verbal abuse … they needed me to freak out so they might beat the s**t out of me and I knew that so I did not let it occur.
‘I wasn’t essentially the most compliant within the jail, I can agree with that. I didn’t give them my title; they didn’t know who I used to be,’ he provides.
Through the arrest, Lewis was carrying the sweatshirt of the highschool lacrosse workforce he coached, and he misplaced his job a number of days later.
Former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody is accused of encouraging his deputies to make use of extreme pressure
He known as his mother from jail who advised him that after his 6.30pm arrest, it had aired at 8pm and members of his workforce had seen the present from a resort room as they traveled for a event.
‘When individuals get arrested with out cameras it is typically thought of all-time low,’ Lewis mentioned, however claimed that having his arrest then broadcast despatched him into an ‘absolute downward spiral.’
‘It was like a Rolodex in my head,’ Lewis mentioned. ‘Anyone that I’ve ever talked to in my life. Those that I have not considered, and possibly could not consider once more, simply tons of of individuals going by means of my head.’
‘I settle for duty for lots of issues,’ added Lewis, who’s now sober. ‘I simply felt fortunate that nobody was harm.’
In September 2020, the Texas Rangers revealed it was investigating 5 Williamson County use-of-force instances together with Ambler’s arrest.
That month, former Sherriff Chody was indicted on a felony cost of tampering with proof in relation to Ambler’s loss of life. He’s accused of destroying or concealing video proof linked to the arrest.
Ambler’s household can also be suing Williamson County.
He died after he was chased by Williamson County sheriff’s deputies for failing to dim his headlights to oncoming site visitors.
The deputies pursued the father-of-two for 22 minutes into downtown Austin in a police chase that was captured on digital camera.
He was tasered a number of occasions through the encounter and was heard telling cops he could not breathe earlier than shedding consciousness, physique digital camera footage confirmed.
He was pronounced lifeless an hour later.
Physique digital camera footage launched in June confirmed Ambler telling deputies ‘I am unable to breathe’ and that he has congestive coronary heart failure as they deploy Tasers on him 4 occasions
Deputies carried out CPR on Ambler (pictured above) till medical personnel arrived later
An post-mortem revealed Ambler died in a murder with congestive coronary heart failure and hypertensive heart problems linked with morbid weight problems ‘together with forcible restraint’
In a wrongful loss of life lawsuit filed within the Western District of Texas, Ambler’s mother and father declare cops had used extreme pressure throughout their son’s arrest to ‘produce extra “entertaining” content material’ for the present.
The criticism additionally accuses Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody of encouraging officers to have interaction in ‘harmful’ police ways for the sake of thrilling tv and rewarding officers ‘who had “good” makes use of of pressure’.
‘If Reside PD producers thought of a division “boring,” its actions wouldn’t be broadcast. Thus, Chody prioritized producing “thrilling” content material for Reside PD over the well being and security of the County’s residents,’ the criticism states.
Prosecutors in Austin have additionally individually launched an investigation into using pressure through the deadly police cease.
A&E has mentioned its video by no means aired due to a coverage towards displaying a loss of life, and it didn’t preserve the footage after it was knowledgeable that the preliminary investigation had closed.
‘The coverage at Reside PD had lengthy been: We preserve tapes, we preserve video for just a few weeks after which we do not retain it any longer,’ Reside PD host Dan Abrams advised CNN.
‘Why? As a result of we feared that we had been going for use by legislation enforcement as a video repository, as a spot to simply go and seize movies to prosecute residents with.
‘We did not need to be that, so there was a coverage in place as to when and tips on how to eliminate movies in order that we would not serve in that function.’
Authorities had ‘then knowledgeable Reside PD the investigation was over. That was a 12 months in the past,’ Abrams mentioned.
‘Trying again on it – do I want that Reside PD had retained it? Yeah… however the coverage was in place for precisely the other motive that many individuals are suggesting now.
‘The purpose is that the motivation right here wasn’t a unfavorable one, it wasn’t to attempt to conceal issues, it was to attempt to keep away from turning into an arm of legislation enforcement as we had been there following them.’
A&E Community scraped Reside PD final 12 months amid a wave of anti-police sentiment following the loss of life of George Floyd.