Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin will not renew a contract with the popular A&E police documentary show “The First 48” that follows homicide detectives during the first 48 hours after a crime is reported, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The show, which began taping in 2005, spotlighted 38 Memphis homicide investigations. Godwin said it brought international attention to the efficiency of the Memphis Police Department’s homicide division.
Several local officials objected to the show documenting violent crimes and non-adjudicated cases. City Councilman Wanda Halbert said the show exposes the worst aspects of the city to the world. Shelby County prosecutor Bill Gibbons said the show violates Tennessee Supreme Court rules by allowing detectives and others involved in the case to comment publicly about evidence or investigations of pending cases. Gibbons said his prosecutors had to deal with numerous unnecessary pretrial and trial issues as a direct result of the show.