A&E canceled Live PD after news broke that the show’s filmed footage of the death of Javier Ambler II in police custody was destroyed.
Ambler died in March 2019 after Williamson County sheriff’s deputies arrested him following a traffic violation in Austin, Texas.
A&E announced the decision to cancel the show in a statement released on Wednesday:
“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. And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”
A&E previously announced they renewed the show for an additional 160 episodes.
It also comes amid nationwide protests following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd. Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes during an arrest.
A video clip of the incident that surfaced online showed Floyd saying he could not breathe before he died.
In a related development, HBO Max announced it was pulling the 1930s cinema classic Gone With the Wind, following allegations of the racist portrayal of black people.
Paramount Network also announced the cancelation of Cops, a documentary that premiered on Fox in March 1989 and followed police officers on duty.
Live PD: Javier Ambler II death
Live PD follows police officers live on patrol. The series shows officers pursuing offenders and making arrests.
During an episode of the show in March 2019, Live PD crew captured the final moments of 40-year-old Javier Ambler’s life, but the footage went missing.
Ambler was involved in a chase with officers after a routine traffic stop. A Williamson County sheriff’s deputy reportedly attempted to pull him over after noticing he did not dim his headlights on oncoming traffic.
Ambler led the cops on a 20-minute chase before his arrest. The arresting officers tased him multiple times.
The Austin Statesman and KVUE obtained police bodycam footage of Ambler’s final moments. The footage showed that Ambler told officers that he had a heart condition and that he couldn’t breathe before he died in police custody.
The Live PD crew also captured the moment that Ambler died, but they destroyed the footage. However, the incident did not occur when the show was live, and it never broadcast footage of the incident.
According to a statement by A&E:
“… 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.”
Live PD host Dan Abrams reacts
Dan Abrams, who hosts Live PD on A&E Network, reacted to the news of the show’s cancelation on Twitter, saying he was “shocked & beyond disappointed.”
His reaction came after he took to Twitter to assure worried fans that the show would return.
He tried to assure fans that Live PD would return after A&E first announced earlier in the week that the network temporarily pulled the show.