A&E Cancels "Live PD" Amid Nationwide Protests
You may have heard of Live PD, a series that follows cops on the job in real time. However, A&E has decided to cancel the series in its' entirety after weeks of protests over police brutality following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
The decision come from A&E just days after Austin American-Statesman reported an encounter of a deputy pinning and tasing Javier Ambler, a Black man who died in March 2019, was caught on camera by the Live PD crew.
"This is a critical time in our nation's history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD," A&E said in a statement to Variety on Wednesday. "Going forward, we will determine if there is a clear pathway to tell the stories of both the community and the police officers whose role it is to serve them."
The footage reportedly captures the altercation through the deputies' body cam. In the footage, the former postal worker screams for mercy, telling the officers he has congestive heart failure and can't breathe.
However, Statesman and news station KVUE reported that not only did the episode never air, but the Live PD footage of Ambler's death was also destroyed.
Executive Producer Dan Abrams took to twitter:
.@statesman should really focus on the death of Javier Ambler and on the fact that DA @ElectMargaret (note the twitter handle) is suddenly focused on this now even though she had the body cam footage for over a year? Their reporting on #LivePd has been a journalistic disaster. https://t.co/qLcyeE8lnS— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 10, 2020
After news of the cancelation broke, Abrams took again to Twitter:
Shocked & beyond disappointed about this. To the loyal #LivePDNation please know I, we, did everything we could to fight for you, and for our continuing effort at transparency in policing. I was convinced the show would go on. . More to come. . .https://t.co/WWh7fDrig2— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 11, 2020
Abrams took to Twitter, again, to answer questions about his thoughts on the show cancellation.
I had been preparing to answer questions about the #LivePD footage of the death of Javier Ambler when the show was canceled. But the issues are still critical so here are responses to various questions I've been asked (and thoughts on the end of the show). https://t.co/gSb9b3OxaT— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 11, 2020
The decision to cancel the long-running show came just one day after the Paramount Network announced the cancellation of the long-running reality show Cops. The show first aired in 1989.