The US reality TV show “Live PD” was taken off the air, similarly to its predecessor “COPS.”
The main reason is the constant accusations that ethical boundaries are continuously crossed in order to get footage for the shows.
As the Libertarian Institute reported:
“In one case, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office in Texas is being accused of intentionally passing up an opportunity to arrest their suspect, Asher Watsky, while he was in court, just so they could raid his home for the television cameras a few hours later. The court appearance and raid happened in May of 2019, but is just now getting new attention after the cancellation of the show.”
And the individual was aware of it the entire time.
“The second I saw the cameras, I’m aware of the Live PD program, I figured out right then, I had a feeling what was going on,” Asher said.
Gary Watsky, one of the occupants of the home, says that the SWAT raid was “all for show.”
“It was all for TV,” he said.
Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick was among many people involved with the case who felt that Watsky could have been arrested peacefully when he was in court less than four hours before the raid.
According to KVUE, Dick said that officials with the sheriff’s office admitted that they removed Watsky’s warrant from the record system so no one in the court would see it that day and try to arrest him.
Watsky was wanted for assault charge that he faced from a fight that he got into with his roommate.
He was fulfilling all of his court requirements for the initial charge, but for some reason, the police filed an additional charge against him, but didn’t activate it until after he appeared in court.
It was allegedly deemed safer to send a SWAT team to his house and raid it, rather than just arrest him after he passed security checks in a courthouse.
Dick has also identified at least five other cases where the Williamson County sheriff’s office used excessive force while cameras were rolling for Live PD.
National law enforcement consultant Jeff Noble said that this raid may not have been necessary, and he fears, “That this was staged for the value of live television.”
“That is not the type of situation to take lightly but, at the same time, it is not the type of situation I would expect a SWAT team to enter a home to make an arrest,” Noble said.
In June 2020, the Free Though Project reported that a 40-year-old postal worker was on his way home from a friendly poker game when he allegedly made the mistake of failing to turn off his brights when passing another vehicle.
Ambler’s last moments alive were captured on police body camera footage as well as footage from the crew from A&E’s reality show “Live PD.” He never resisted, posed a threat to cops, or attempted to attack them, yet he was thrown to the ground, repeatedly tasered, and the air squeezed from his body until he fell unconscious and died.
The incident began as Deputy J.J. Johnson, who is regularly featured on “Live PD,” passed Ambler and allegedly saw him fail to dim his brights. So, the deputy targeted Ambler for extortion and subsequent murder.
Ambler was presumably scared of what police could do and led them on a chase for 20 minutes.
The chase came to an end when Ambler crashed his vehicle.
“Johnson, who had no backup at the time, drew his gun and ordered Ambler to get out of his car, raise his hands and get on the ground. Ambler, a 400-pound former football player, got out and showed his hands. Johnson, who is black and about half Ambler’s size, holstered his gun and pulled out his Taser.
“Get down!” Johnson repeated several times.
When Ambler appeared to turn toward his car door, Johnson used his Taser, according to an internal investigative report the Statesman obtained under the Texas Public Information Act. Ambler fell on one knee, rolled onto his back and stomach and acted as though he was trying to stand.”
As the Statesman reports, a death-in-custody report filed with the Texas attorney general’s office said Ambler did not attempt to, nor did he assault deputies; he did not verbally threaten others nor attempt to get control of any officers’ weapons.
So, yeah, essentially raiding people’s homes and killing them on camera passed as entertainment.
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