It has been announced that A&E has pulled Live PD from its TV schedule, in the wake of widespread protests that were sparked by the death of George Floyd. In a statement shared by Variety, A&E explained, they "have made the decision not to broadcast Live PD this weekend." Instead, the network will air Live Rescue.
A&E stated that the decision to pull Live PD was both "out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives." It was also made "in consideration for the safety of all involved." The network added the decision was made "in consultation with the departments" that are featured on the series. Interestingly, Variety also noted that COPS appears to have also been pulled, as it no longer shows up on Paramount Network's schedule. Instead, the channel will be showing Ghostbusters. Variety stated that COPS also did not air in its usual time-slot on Monday either.
The move comes after nearly two weeks of social unrest over the death of George Floyd, who died on May 25 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest. The incident was caught on video by witnesses, with the footage going viral the same day. Chauvin and three other arresting officers were fired form the police force, and Chauvin was arrested on May 29.
Initially, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, but Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced on Wednesday that Chauvin's murder charge was being upped to second-degree murder. The other three officers involved were also taken into custody, and have been charged with "aiding and abetting second-degree murder" and "aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter." Their bail was set at $1 million each.
"I strongly believe that these developments are in the interest of justice for Mr. Floyd, his family, our community and our state," Ellison said when publicly announcing the charges. he also explained that he "did not allow public pressure to impact" his "decision-making process." He added that his team "made these decisions based on the facts" they "gathered since this matter occurred." He also stated that they made "these charges based on the law that we think applies." Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has since issued a statement on the new charges, calling them a "meaningful step toward justice for George Floyd," per CNN.