A&E Network canceled the police reality show "Live PD" after weeks of protests inspired by the loss of George Floyd and a report that a program team recorded the arrest of a black man who died after police immobilized him. .
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The cable television network announced the move Wednesday, a day after the Paramount Network canceled "Cops," a similar show that had aired 33 seasons.
"This is a crucial time in our nation's history and we have made the decision to cease production of Live PD," A&E said in a statement. “From now on we will determine if there is a clear path to tell the stories of both the community and the police officers whose role is to serve them. And with that in mind, we will meet with community leaders and civil rights advocates, as well as police departments. ”
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Floyd's snatch of life at the hands of the Minneapolis police sparked multiple protests across the United States and around the world against police brutality and racism.
The cancellation of the program was announced a day after a report by the Austin American-Statesman newspaper and KVUE-TV that Javier Ambler, a 40-year-old black man, was deprived of his life in Texas last year after that county sheriff's deputies repeatedly used stun guns against him, despite his screams and complaints that he was sick and unable to breathe.
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Prosecutors investigating Ambler's death said the presence of the "Live PD" team made the arrest, which was recorded by the officers' body cameras and obtained by those media outlets, particularly disturbing.
In a previous statement, A&E said its video never aired due to a policy prohibiting showing a death, and did not retain the footage after being informed that the initial investigation had been closed. A&E indicated that neither the chain nor the producers of the program "asked for the shots or an interview from the police investigators or the district attorney's office."
Like what Paramount Network did with "Cops," A&E had already stopped airing episodes of "Live PD" before announcing Wednesday that it will not continue the show.
Live PD, which had been on the air since 2016, had a more documentary-like approach than "Cops," in which the police were allowed to speak almost entirely on their own.
"I am shocked and more than disappointed by this," the show's host, veteran journalist Dan Abrams, said on Twitter. “To the loyal #LivePDNation please know that I, we, did everything we could to fight for you, and for our continuous effort in favor of transparency in the police work. I was convinced that the program would continue. "