A&E decided not to run new episodes of Live PD; Cops runs on Paramount and was about to begin airing Season 33 on Monday. Cops is no longer mentioned anywhere on the channel's website and appears to suspended indefinitely. The move to pull both series comes after nearly two weeks of civil unrest and protests following the death of George Floyd while in police custody, and bigger conversations about police brutality and defunding police.
"Out of respect for the families of George Floyd and others who have lost their lives, in consultation with the departments we follow, and in consideration for the safety of all involved, we have made the decision not to broadcast Live PD this weekend," A&E said in a statement.
Cops began on Fox in 1989, and helped usher in the modern reality TV genre, with footage of officers chasing suspects. But it has long been accused of exploiting people at their lowest points, particularly people of color, people who live in poverty, and people who suffer from addiction. A New York Times story from 2019 detailed some of the criticisms that have been leveled at the show for how it depicts citizens and law enforcement. Live PD was, according to Variety, the No. 1 series on cable on Friday and Saturday nights; episodes of Live Rescue will now air in its place.