A&E has canceled Live PD, Variety reports. The network had initially chosen not to air new episodes last weekend in the wake of worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism following the killing of George Floyd. On Wednesday, A&E officially canceled the show.
“This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD. 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,” A&E said in a statement via Variety. “And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”
Live PD‘s cancelation comes on the heels of news that the show had filmed the death of a Black man who was in the custody of law enforcement and the network disclosed that the footage was destroyed, according to Austin American-Statesman, who reported Javier Ambler died in March 2019 while being arrested by Williamson County sherriff’s deputies in connection with a traffic violation.
On Monday, Austin American-Statesman reported that 28 minutes after Ambler was detained for failing to dim the headlights of his SUV to oncoming traffic, “the black father of two sons lay dying on a North Austin street after deputies held him down and used Tasers on him four times while a crew from A&E’s reality show Live PD filmed. Ambler, a 40-year-old former postal worker, repeatedly pleaded for mercy, telling deputies he had congestive heart failure and couldn’t breathe. He cried, ‘Save me,’ before deputies deployed a final shock.”
The news also follows the cancelation of another police-oriented reality TV series Cops, the long-running show which was nixed on Tuesday by Paramount Network. Launched in October 2016, Live PD grew to become the Number One series on cable on Friday and Saturday nights and A&E had renewed the series earlier this year, ordering 160 episodes.