‘Live P.D.’ Canceled at A&E After Network Admits Show Filmed In-Custody Death, Destroyed Footage
A&E has the plug of its popular "Live P.D." Police show amid George Floyd's ongoing protests two days after the Texas media reported that the show had destroyed footage of a man who was arrested and died in custody in March 2019.
"This is a critical time in our nation's history and we made the decision to stop producing it on Live PD," the network said in a statement on Wednesday. “In the future, we will see if there is a clear way to tell the stories of both the community and the police officers whose job it is to serve them. And so we meet with leaders of the community and civil rights as well as with police authorities. "
The decision to retire the show comes two days after the Austin American statesman and KVUE-TV released the story that during a shoot in 2019, "Live PD" cameras recorded Sheriff's MPs who turned 40 -year-old Javier Ambler berated him while he was begging for his life. The man died. The show later destroyed the footage.
Also Read: Live PD Host Dan Abrams Regrets That Recordings of Death in Custody Have Been Destroyed: "I Wish This Had Been Broadcast"
The network said in a statement to the statesman that "the video of Javier Ambler's tragic death was recorded by body cameras worn by the officers involved, as well as by the producers of Live PD driving with certain officers involved."
Regarding the destroyed footage, the network said to the statesman: "As with all footage captured by Live PD producers, we did not retain the unaired footage after we learned that the investigation was complete." The footage was never broadcast, the network said. Host Dan Abrams regretted the lost footage and wrote, "Given what happened, I wish the tape had been preserved."
Abrams responded to the cancellation messages on Twitter and wrote: “Shocked and disappointed. To the loyal #LivePDNation, please know that I, we, have done everything we can to fight for you and for our continued efforts to ensure transparency in policing. I was convinced that the show would go on. "
In a follow-up, Abrams said he regretted it
"Given what happened, I wish the tape had been preserved and the directive should have been an exception to this type of situation," he said. "Many of us spoke out for policy changes before the show was canceled."
According to the statesman, MPs tried to overtake Ambler because he had not dimmed the headlights of his vehicle, which resulted in a 20-minute chase. After Ambler was arrested, officials arrested and repeatedly insulted him, even though he told them he had heart failure and, according to an internal investigation report the statesman received under the Texas Public Information Act, called for "save me."
The paper described the struggle and Ambler's last moments:
"I'm not opposed," shouts Ambler. "Sir, I can't breathe.… Please.… Please."
The MPs on top of Ambler keep shouting at him to put his arms behind his back.
"Save me," shouts Ambler.
"Do what we ask of you!" a deputy shouts.
"I can't," said Ambler, the last words the video recorded of him just before one of the MPs used his taser a fourth and last time at 1:47 a.m.
The case is under investigation, but investigators say Live PD producers "have repeatedly blocked their efforts to obtain evidence or interviews with officials involved," the statesman said.
A&E did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.
Also read: Jim Carrey gives Buffalo Cops a cartoon that beats after injuring the 75-year-old protester
The move follows a decision by Paramount Network to cancel long-time "cops" before their 33rd season earlier this week.
Last week, A&E canceled two episodes of Live PD as a result of nationwide police protests after George Floyd's murder in May in Minneapolis. At the time, the network said the decision was made "out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who lost their lives."
Earlier this week, Abrams assured fans of the show that she would be back soon, and wrote on Twitter: “To anyone who asks if #LivePD is coming back. . The answer is yes. All of us who are connected to the show feel as committed to it as ever. We'll discuss a few more details, but I want to assure #LivePDNation that we won't leave you. "
"Live P.D." has been a success for A&E since its debut. Just over a month ago, the network recorded 160 more episodes of the series, which aired during the 2020-21 season.
Read also: A & E orders 160 more "Live PD" episodes, history renews both "Built America" series
"Live PD" is being produced by Big Fish Entertainment for A&E. Dan Cesareo, Lucilla D’Agostino and John Zito produce for Big Fish, while A & E Network's executive producers are Elaine Frontain Bryant, Shelly Tatro, Sean Gottlieb and Brad Abramson.
Read the original story "Live P.D." that was canceled at A&E after Network Admit's show approved "Filmed Death in Custody, Destroyed Footage at TheWrap"
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