Live PD Canceled After It Was Revealed Show Filmed a Black Man's Death in Custody
"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
Live PD has been canceled in the wake of ongoing protests over police brutality across the United States and after it was revealed one of its crew was with officers when a man died during an arrest.
“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 obtained by PEOPLE 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. And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”
The show had initially been renewed for an additional 160 episodes in May, according to Variety.
Live PD host Dan Abrams said he was "shocked & beyond disappointed" about A&E's decision to end the series.
"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," he wrote on Wednesday. "I was convinced the show would go on. . More to come. . ."
On Monday he told fans that there were no signs of a cancellation, writing on Twitter: "To all of you asking whether #LivePD coming back. . .The answer is yes."
"All of us associated with the show are as committed to it as ever," he tweeted. "We are still discussing some specifics but I want to assure the #LivePDNation that we are not abandoning you."
Live PD followed various police officers on call during their patrols, often broadcasting their encounters live for viewers.
On Tuesday, it was revealed Live PD captured a man's final moments after he was detained last year.
Newly released body-cam footage shows that Javier Ambler, 40, had repeatedly told officers "I can't breathe" before his death in police custody.
What began as a routine traffic stop for failing to dim headlights for oncoming traffic turned into a 22-minute chase and the death of Ambler on March 28, 2019. Ambler was tased four times after the chase.
The body-cam footage comes not from the Williamson County Sheriff's deputies making the arrest, but from Austin Police officers who later arrived on the scene, NBC News reported.
"Give me your hands or I'm going to tase you again," an officer reportedly says in the footage, which was obtained by NBC station KXAN.
"I have congestive heart failure," Ambler, the father of two sons, can reportedly be heard saying in the footage. "I can't breathe."
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Ambler's death was ruled a homicide according to a death report filed with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, according KXAN. The outlet reported that he died of "congestive heart failure and hypertensive cardiovascular disease associated with morbid obesity, in combination with forcible restraint."
A&E told USA Today on Tuesday that “video of the tragic death of Javier Ambler was captured by body cams worn on the officers involved as well by the producers of Live PD who were riding with certain officers involved.”
The network said the incident did not occur while the show was live and they did not broadcast the footage.
The cancelation also comes just a day after it was announced Cops will not be returning to the Paramount Network.
"Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return," a network spokesperson said in a statement to Deadline Tuesday.
The show's 33rd season would have premiered on Monday.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
• ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.