AUSTIN, Texas — The partnership between Williamson County and "Live PD" is over.
County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to end the contract with Big Fish Entertainment LLC, the production company behind the popular TV show.
Both the Williamson County District Attorney and defense lawyers want to use video from "Live PD" in criminal cases. The problem is that in the contract, there is a provision that says video is deleted within 30 days.
The contract is now over, but DA Shawn Dick is still working on getting that video.
"I think we need to be honest and transparent in our discovery to make sure we're turning over everything, every scrap of evidence that exists," Dick said.
He said he had a meeting with Sheriff Robert Chody Monday morning.
“He had agreed to make sure he was going to provide that information,” Dick said.
He added that his position with "Live PD" has always been that he needed to make sure his office got unaired videos from the show and of the witnesses that were on scene.
Regarding the commissioners’ vote, Big Fish Entertainment LLC said quote:
“It is disappointing that 'Live PD' became embroiled in an issue of Williamson County politics, especially with our last scheduled appearance there already slated for this weekend. We thank the Williamson County Sheriff's Office and the community for their participation and wish everyone of Williamson County the best, as we shift our attention to the many other agencies around the country asking to work with 'Live PD.'”
One resident at county commissioners court Tuesday voiced her approval of the show.
“My grandsons look up to the law enforcement officers on the show,” Katherine Larue said. “They get a chance to see them as they work, and they see that they treat others with respect."
Other residents criticized "Live PD."
“When I went to school, I learned that we're innocent in this country until proven guilty,” Denise Gordon said. “Why are we allowing people's pictures and their arrests to be publicized and put on TV for entertainment?”
Many residents also continued to ask that a sheriff's office commander, Steve Deaton, be fired for his social media posts depicting date rape and violence against minorities.
The county judge called for a review of the county's social media policy within the next seven days, but ultimately the sheriff alone has the authority to discipline his staff.
DA Dick said Tuesday that Deaton's posts were “despicable, demented, disgusting.”
He said the fear he has is that there are survivors that do not trust Williamson County government.
“We have limited resources,” Dick said. “But we’ll do everything that we can to make sure no one in our county feels unsafe or discriminated against … We’ll take every step that we can in our office to make sure that every survivor's heard.”
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