Reality Shows Banned From Partnerships With Texas Law Enforcement
Texas legislators did the right thing, and with bipartisan support, by banning reality shows partnering with law enforcement after incidents of increased violence.
That means shows like COPS or the now-canceled Live PD will no longer be able to partner with local law enforcement for "entertainment" purposes. This move comes after a tragic occurrence resulted from this unwholesome pairing. According to ABC News:
Javier Ambler II, 40, died on March 28, 2019. He was chased by Williamson County deputies after he failed to dim his headlights. Crews from the show "Live PD", which is now canceled, followed the 22-minute chase with cameras.
Governor Greg Abbott signed the Javier Ambler Act on May 26th, 2021. I applaud him for doing so. Making law enforcement ' entertainment' makes these encounters more dangerous for everyone involved, and not to be a stick in the mud, but I've always found them to be trashy and in poor taste.
The Austin-American Statesmen did a report on the Texas agency that was involved in Ambler's death and found that Williamson County officers were more violent around the time they were being filmed:
That report analyzed 124 use-of-force reports by Williamson County sheriff's deputies and found that the number of violent encounters nearly doubled from 43 in 2017, the year before "Live PD" joined the agency, to 82 in 2019.
The deputies involved in Ambler's death, James Johnson and Zachary Camden, have been charged with 2nd-degree manslaughter, and others in the department have been charged with tampering with or attempting to destroy evidence.
Police encounters should not be thrilling or entertaining like we see in works of fiction. In fact, they should be routine and downright boring. Police have set protocols and procedures to protect the public and themselves. De-escalation is the best route for everyone, and that does not make for good TV. Therefore, TV should never be involved.
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