Live PD host Dan Abrams is sending a message to fans of the popular series after A&E announced Wednesday that it had decided to cancel the show that follows police officers all over the country in light of the ongoing protests against police brutality and racism occurring around the world.
Abrams, who just the day before the show's cancellation insisted the network had only pulled it from schedules temporarily, sent a message early Thursday morning to his followers thanking them for creating a community of "kind, caring people." He added that it was "truly bittersweet" to see the show trending on Twitter again, not due to its fans, but because of its cancellation.
I am going to finally go to sleep but I just want to say one more thing to the #LivePDNation. Thank you for making this so much more than a tv show. You created a huge community of kind, caring people with whom I hope to stay in touch with in this next chapter. More tomorrow. . .— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 11, 2020
And . . its truly bittersweet to see #LivePD back in our spot trending at #1 again. . .(but for a different reason. . .)— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) June 11, 2020
According to Deadline, the decision to end Live PD was made by both A&E and production company MGM's Big Fish Entertainment. The network said in a statement about the cancellation, "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."
Abrams said at the time on Twitter that he was "shocked & beyond disappointed" about the network's decision, reassuring fans he did everything he could have to "fight for you, and for our continuing effort at transparency in policing."
Live PD has recently faced criticism for deleting footage of the death of 40-year-old Javier Ambler, a black man who died in Williamson County Sheriff's custody after a 22-minute car chase. In new body cam footage released by the Austin Police Department, which arrived on scene to assist, Ambler can be seen being tased four times by police, screaming "save me" and "I can’t breathe," before dying.
Monday, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore tweeted that for the last year, her office had been "fighting" to obtain the Live PD footage of Ambler's death, but learned the footage had been deleted. Abrams told Law & Crime that the footage never aired due to A&E policies about showing fatality, and was deleted as per "long standing policy" to only retain footage for "a few weeks" unless specifically requested to retain it. "The reason for this policy was so that we did not become an arm of law enforcement attempting to use Live PD videos to prosecute citizens seen on the footage," Abrams said.