Another police show, 'Live PD,' axed in the wake of George Floyd's death
Another reality television show about police, A&E's "Live PD," has been canceled in the wake of national antipathy over the in-custody death of George Floyd.
“This is a critical time in our nation’s history, and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD," the network said in a statement Wednesday.
The show that followed officers and deputies as they chased suspects in vehicles and on foot was in the news this week after a Texas prosecutor accused a local sheriff's department of keeping "Live PD" footage of a car chase under wraps.
Javier Ambler, 40, died March 28, 2019, after he was tased four times at the end of the 22-minute chase in Austin, Texas, according to NBC affiliate KXAN. NBC News has not verified that timeline nor the cause of Ambler's death.
Body-camera footage from an Austin officer who responded to the scene captured the victim telling law enforcement he had heart problems and saying, "I can't breathe."
Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore said Monday that the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office has not cooperated with its investigation of the death of the former postal worker, including handing over "Live PD" footage.
The sheriff's office said in a statement it "remains ready and willing to participate in the investigation" and was not contacted by the district attorney about it.
A&E did not address the prosecutor's allegations. But host Dan Abrams posted a statement on Twitter that said the pursuit footage never aired because "it involved a fatality."
"Contrary to many incorrect reports," his statement says, "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."
I appreciate all the questions about the horrible death of Javier Ambler. Unfortunately the @statesman story was filled with inaccuracies. See below. Thanks. pic.twitter.com/3Zw3SXd030
— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 10, 2020
The show's end followed Tuesday's cancelation of Paramount Network's "Cops," which first aired on Fox in 1989.
A&E statement appeared to leave some room for a "Live PD" comeback.
"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," it said. "And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”