A&E canceled Live PD in the wake of ongoing protests over police brutality across the United States

By Ally Mauch
June 12, 2020 11:58 AM
Advertisement

Live PD host Dan Abrams is speaking out about the show’s recent cancellation.

After A&E announced plans to cease production of the show earlier this week, Abrams disagreed with the network's decision, saying there's "an overreaction going on."

"I think that it's very troubling that we're suddenly in a culture where all police officers have to suffer for the sins of a few. And I say that for every group, it's not just police officers," Abrams said during his SiriusXM radio show, The Dan Abrams Show, Thursday.

"That doesn't mean we don't have to have a discussion about the inequities in our society. And not just a discussion – action. There should be changes,” he continued. “There's a real positive change in many ways going on in this country, but there's also an overreaction going on. And I think that that's what Live PD suffered from."

Live PD followed various police officers on call during their patrols, often broadcasting their encounters live for viewers.

Abrams initially wrote that he was “shocked & beyond disappointed” about the cancelation and once again expressed his surprise during his radio show.

"I thought we were going to have a discussion about how to make the show better,” Abrams said. “And we were going to figure out how to deal with some of the positive change that people are implementing and figure out how to incorporate that into the show. But lo and behold, the show got canceled."

On Wednesday, A&E announced that Live PD has been canceled after nearly four years on the air.

“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 cancellation of the TV show came 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, Javier Ambler, died during an arrest.

Live PD host Dan Abrams and analysts Sean "Sticks" Larkin and Tom Morris Jr.
A+E

Newly released body-cam footage showed that Javier Ambler, 40, had repeatedly told officers "I can't breathe" before his death in police custody. His death was later ruled a homicide.

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.”

Abrams also addressed the news that Live PD captured a man's final moments after he was detained last year.

Live PD
A&E

The host said Live PD held onto the video footage of the incident at the request of the sheriff's office and then destroyed the footage, a standard practice designed to keep the recordings from being used in legal proceedings.

"The show has a policy of not retaining video for more than roughly 30 days," he said. "The reason for that is that we didn't want to become a video repository for either side. We didn't want to become an arm of law enforcement. We didn't want to become an arm of defense attorneys."

Abrams also expressed that he wished the footage had not been destroyed. "Given what happened, I wish the tape had been preserved and the policy should have had an exception for this sort of situation," he said on Law&Crime. "Many of us were advocating for a change in the policy before the show was canceled."

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 the 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.