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‘Live P.D.’ canceled by A&E following report that the reality show filmed police custody death

Deputy Nick Carmack, Shep, Dan Abrams, Sgt. Sean Larkin and Tom Morris Jr. of A&E’s Live PD attend the 2019 A+E Networks Upfront at Jazz at Lincoln Center on March 27, 2019 in New York City.

Cindy Ord

A&E has canceled one of the highest-rated shows on basic cable in the wake of protests over the police-related death of George Floyd.

The network pulled “Live P.D.,” a reality TV show that follows cops on patrol, earlier this week, but revealed late Wednesday that that hiatus is now permanent. 

News of the cancellation follows reports from Monday that “Live P.D.” had filmed an incident between police and a 40-year-old black man that ultimately resulted in that man’s death.

Javier Ambler was stopped by police in Texas for failing to dim his headlights in March 2019 and was later held down and tasered four times while a crew from “Live P.D.” filmed. Ambler died in custody.

Footage of the encounter never aired and was destroyed.

“This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on ‘Live PD.,'” the network said in a statement. “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 decision was made by A&E, which is jointly owned by the Hearst Corporation and Disney, and MGM’s Big Fish Entertainment, which produces the series, and just a month after the network renewed the show for an additional 160 episodes.

“Live P.D.” aired on Friday and Saturday nights during the 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. time slot and was the top ad-supported show on cable. During the coronavirus pandemic, the show gained more popularity and filled a gap left from the suspension of live sports.

ViacomCBS’ police reality show “Cops” has also been canceled in the wake of protests on police brutality.

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