skywalker" opens friday. thank you for watching. good night and may the force be with you always! this is "nightline." >> reporter: tonight, "live pd." >> show us your hands! >> reporter: crime time in prime time. >> you got a convertible now. relax. >> reporter: police armed with cameras in hot pursuit. are suspects ready for their close-ups? ready or not. will reality-show viewers turn into judge and jury? >> i'd like the public to be able to see the whole story of something. >> reporter: with millions watching the hit show proving crime pays! plus, box-office driver. he's the brooding villain in "star wars." the offbeat boyfriend in "girls." and one half of a broken
♪ good evening. thank you for joining us. the cameras are always rolling on "live pd," the hit show starring law enforcement on the job. but it's also sparking questions about racism, police tactics and invasion of privacy. here is abc's steve osunsami. >> reporter: some are calling it one of the best shows on television. >> i love the show it's live, it's active, it's fun, it's exciting! >> reporter: others say it's one of the most disturbing. >> stop, stop get off me. >> reporter: what's causing all the different opinions? "live pd." >> you got a convertible now relax. >> reporter: and it's as real as it gets. >> we had to extract the male. >> reporter: for law enforcement. >> if you want to see policing, this is policing. >> reporter: with real officers. >> hands behind your back. >> reporter: real suspects in real time. >> show us your hands! >> reporter: the show features live camera feeds from police departments scattered across the country.
they've been set up with the latest technology to show the ups and downs of a typical shift on the streets. >> i think people are liking to watch it through the officers' eyes. they get to see it the way the officers are seeing it. >> reporter: dan abrams, the host, juggles the 32 different feeds that pour in during three intense hours each friday and saturday night. >> there's apparently an armed robbery suspect who's barricaded himself in an apartment, you can see them there. >> reporter: he's joined by analysts tom morris and sergeant sean larkin from the tulsa police department. >> for me, as a current police officer, i'd like the public be able to see the whole story of something. >> reporter: the three try to make sense of whatever is coming their way. >> we're here in the studio and we don't know what's going to happen next any more than the people at home do. so we're just as surprised and shocked sometimes by what goes down. >> reporter: now in its fourth on a&e which is owned by abc news's parent company disney, "live pd" is one of the highest rated programs in cable television. but the success of this series comes as the country is having a
painful debate over the policing policies on american streets. in 2014, a police officer shot michael brown in ferguson, missouri, which essentially began the black lives matter movement. less than a year later, walter scott was shot in the back and killed by an officer in charleston south carolina. in 2016 philando castile was killed by an officer in minnesota. his death was broadcast live on facebook. >> an officer just shot him in his arm. >> reporter: and earlier this year atatiana k. jefferson was playing video games in her bedroom with her 8-year-old nephew when a police officer shot and killed her through a window. these are just four out of thousands of police shootings in the five years since michael brown was killed. >> police officers and police departments are under the microscope right now. people around the country are demanding more transparency. >> reporter: the police departments on the show believe that broadcasting their work helps both the police and the public. >> i just knew that people needed to see what we see every day, not just a snapshot, but actually see the funny stuff,
the dangerous stuff that we we encounter every single day. most people don't see that. they have on "live pd" now. >> reporter: the richland county sheriff's department in south carolina has been on "live pd" since the first episode. sheriff leon lott decided to take a chance on this new transparency. >> i'm sure that there were some worries that you had because it's live. >> really no. no. i didn't have any worries whatsoever. i trust my people. we got good professional deputies that are on the show. and i knew our people would do the right thing. >> but at the same time too your people are human. >> well, i think what i want people to do is see that we were human and that we are just like anybody else. i had no worries. i was not scared one bit. >> reporter: when the program became a hit, some of his officers became celebrities. >> is it okay to call you a star of the show? >> sure. >> do you like that word? >> i don't feel so much like a star, but it's been really positive. >> reporter: lt. danny brown from the richland county sheriff's department is one of the most recognized faces on the show.
>> i am told people like to run from you? >> i don't know why. i am a really nice guy! >> reporter: almost every time he stepped out of his car, someone in richland county knew his name. >> is this "live pd?" >> what do you watch me on? >> oh, my god. you're danny! >> reporter: but some police officers -- >> ain't no [ bleep ]! >> reporter: -- don't always have good face-to-face encounters. >> most people their contact with law enforcement is not a good time. whether you're involved in a traffic accident, you've come home from work and your house is burglarized. you got pulled over for speeding. and what i always say is, you know, we don't get called to somebody's house because their kid came home with straight as that day, you know. >> reporter: critics of the show say it violates privacy and exploits a person's lowest moment. >> what are you doing out here? >> man, just [ bleep ] chillin'. >> why are you dancing though? >> i'm not dancing. i'm just trying to cool off. >> reporter: abrams, who is also a chief legal analyst for abc news, says that what you see on the show is fair and legal to broadcast. >> when someone is approached by the police or arrested on a
public street, there is an argument that there is something inherently newsworthy about that. newspapers have for years always laid out about all the people who were arrested that day and here. and this is not that dissimilar. >> reporter: over a three hour show, there are countless arrests. >> right now you're being detained. >> reporter: even when people are not charged or acquitted at trial. >> anytime someone ends up being cleared while we're on, we make sure to tell the audience that. people are innocent until proven guilty. >> we don't ever say, yeah, this guy's, you know, hammered and he's going down to prison for whatever it may be. >> reporter: to some, it seems like people of color, and in particular black americans make up a big percentage of the chases and arrests. >> what you see is dependent, one, on where you are. like if you're in missoula, montana, you're not going to see a lot of interactions with african-americans. if you're in richland county, south carolina and you're dealing with maybe the more high crime areas, those tend to be the more african-american communities. >> reporter: the show has been sued for defamation and invasion of privacy.
in south carolina, fredrick west was arrested for drug trafficking in 2017 on "live pd" by the greenville county sheriff's department. but the charges were later dropped. he claimed he was racially profiled and sued. in another lawsuit from the same county, a black man whose car was crashed into by a police cruiser said that he "was largely targeted in this manner because of his race." one of the lawsuits was dismissed, the other is pending. in a statement to abc news, the producers say that the two lawsuits regarding the production of 'live pd' in greenville county completely lacked merit, and had no bearing on filming or continued outreach from other departments hoping to participate on the series." even the show's critics agree that there are flashes of compassion. >> do you understand that how i feel -- >> i do. >> -- as -- >> i do. i definitely do. >> reporter: deputy addy perez shared this emotional moment with a homeless veteran who was smoking marijuana in his car. >> i'm like legit telling you i
was homeless living in my car. and i was in the military as well. and i did deploy overseas. so i do feel for you. >> reporter: he tells deputy perez he has a medical marijuana card from california. >> this is for my ptsd. >> i know. >> reporter: he's released without charges. >> i'm not going to take you to jail now, i don't want you to miss your girls tomorrow okay? >> reporter: one of the moments that wins over hearts and minds. >> the show shows the human side of law enforcement that not everyone is a bad person, that we are doing our jobs. >> reporter: at least six law enforcement agencies have quit the show. some were concerned about showcasing crimes in their cities. others complained that the show wouldn't allow them to use "live pd" videos at the trials of the suspects arrested on the program. >> i think that the vast majority we have followed have been very satisfied with what we do and how we do it. but look, we're not looking to in every single case say to the police department we want to make sure that you're okay with everything.
this is part of following them. >> reporter: in richland county, sheriff lott says "live pd" has dramatically improved relations between his police force and the community. he now has a waiting list of officers hoping to join his department. >> we don't have a recruiting staff. we don't go out and we don't have to do recruiting. but our deputies do it every single day and the shows now, help to help show them show professionalism that they have. and so people want to come work here. >> reporter: in april, "live pd" celebrated its 200th episode and this was the watch party in richland county. when more than 5,000 people showed up, they had to move the event to the county fairground. so the show keeps racing along, trying to humanize the hard-working people who protect us and trying to lessen the tensions on the police beat. for nightline, i'm steve osunsami, in richland county, south carolina. >> new episodes of "live pd" return in january.
up next, "the rise of skywalker." how kylo ren's real-life military past helped propel him into the limelight. this is my b. man 1 vo: proof of less joint pain and clearer skin. man 2 vo: proof that i can fight psoriatic arthritis... woman 2 vo: ...with humira. woman 3 vo: humira targets and blocks a specific source of inflammation that contributes to both joint and skin symptoms. it's proven to help relieve pain, stop further irreversible jnt damage, and clear skin in many adults. humira is the number one prescribed biologic for psoriatic arthritis. avo: humira can lower your ability to fight infections. serious and sometimes fatal infections, including tuberculosis, and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened, as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection.
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♪ blow a kiss into the sun ♪ we need someone to lean on ♪ blow a kiss into the sun ♪ all we need is somebody to lean on ♪ ♪ ♪ sweden's greetings. enjoy your first payment on us when you lease a new volvo. now through january 2nd. adam driver. one on one with the man behind the mask of "star wars," kylo ren. how driver is sharing his passion for storytelling with those still serving in the military. here is abc's adrienne bankert. >> reporter: there's been no villain like him since darth vader.
>> your destiny. >> reporter: kylo ren, played by adam driver, returns in the final episode of the "star wars" saga "the rise of skywalker." >> have you heard the fan rumblings about bendemption and about him? that -- that kylo ren is going to be redeemed back to his ben solo-like heart and they're like #bendemption, like redemption. >> what does he need to be redeemed for? >> spoken like a true villain. >> yeah, well, i mean, like, what did he do that he has to be redeemed? i feel like he feels like he's in the right. so what is there to be redeemed from? >> reporter: from the moment he was cast six years ago it was clear driver's villain would be different. more complex. displaying both brooding evil and vulnerability in "the force awakens." >> you don't have to do this. >> reporter: and "the last jedi." >> i feel the conflict in you. >> he's still kind of aimless, not aimless necessarily, but still trying to find his place,
but no less powerful, but a little more directionless. and how is that manifested physically? his costume in the first one is ill fitting and kind of tight, to his lightsaber that you get a sense that it's going to not work at any minute. that kind of is more human to me. >> reporter: leaving fans guessing what kylo ren has in store in the third installment of the sequel trilogy. >> that's where he starts, where he kind of goes i'm keeping to myself. >> reporter: that surprising range in character and classic acting chops are what driver has become known for since his breakout role in the hbo series "girls" in 2012. >> what do we need to talk about? >> we're not together anymore. >> i don't really care about labels. >> reporter: since then driver has worked with some of the biggest names in hollywood. including martin scorsese in the 2016 drama "silence." >> someone's here watching you. >> then i would have been dead. >> reporter: and spike lee in "blackkklansman," for which he earned an oscar nomination.
>> flip, it's intel. >> i'm not risking my life to prevent redskins from lighting a couple sticks on fire. >> what's your problem? >> for you it's a crusade. for me it's my job. >> who has been one of the people that maybe you geeked out over? somebody that you watched and now you're alongside and considered a peer with? >> while i don't think i consider him a peer because he's so kind of ahead, even his movies are so ahead of where i'm ready as an audience member but it would be scorsese. but you could really say that about a lot of people that i've worked to us. you know, spike lee or soderbergh, you know, or people that i've always admired. you know, when you have people like that telling you that no actually hired you for your opinions, then it's really empowering. >> this is kind of a coming of age time for you, the past six years, don't you think? i mean, do you feel like you hit your sweet spot now? >> oh no, i don't. i mean, i still feel like, you always feel like you're perpetually coming of age. a lot of things are happening now but i don't know if it has anything to do with me. >> reporter: in addition to the "star wars" big screen blockbuster driver has not one
but two feature films now streaming. "the report" on amazon. >> if the "times" had your report, we would print it tomorrow. >> no. if it's going to come out it's going to come out the right way. >> what i love about charlie. >> reporter: and "marriage story" on netflix. his performance in this visceral tearjerker up for a golden globe. >> what's this? who owns baltic avenue? >> it's telling the beginning of a relationship at the end of it. >> reporter: in the movie, driver stars as charlie barber, a theater director trying to navigate his split from wife nicole, played by scarlett johansson. >> it's separating. it's kind of naming things almost clinically that you feel intuitively in a marriage. you know someone so well in that you're changing your molecules inside to think about them a different way. that love doesn't go away. it transitions into this other thing. >> it was just interesting to watch your development of that character. it was also interesting to watch you sing. ♪ someone to need you too much >> where he put it in the script i thought was really beautiful and character revealing.
only through singing the lyrics of someone else's work, a song about someone who doesn't want love and now for the first time realizes that that's all they want. does he begin to mourn what he's lost a little bit? and i thought that was just beautiful writing. >> reporter: driver's ease on camera makes it seem as though he's been acting his whole life. however, it was only after serving in the marines that he decided to give it a shot. >> in a way, it was the best training for being a actor. >> were you really confident that acting was the way to go? >> i felt like, oh, compared to the military, acting isn't going to be that hard. obviously the stakes are completely different. but it's still high pressure. it's -- it's still -- it's a different group of strangers that you're forced to be intimate with in a short amount of time. and you're trying to fulfill a mission that's bigger than any one individual part. it's about the story overall, not your role in it. >> reporter: he now shares his passion for acting with those still serving. >> don't need to embellish!
>> reporter: founding arts in the armed forces, a non-profit that brings theatrical productions to members of the military. >> i kept getting the responses from different people that, you know, the military doesn't want to see plays. they won't get it. but i thought since we were all infantry marines, we were capable of handling a lorraine hansberry play. >> "lazy in the south." >> yeah. that that that would actually speak more to what is going on in their life. >> i can't believe this is the tenth anniversary of arts in the armed forces. >> we have an annual performance on broadway. not only are you at the forefront of watching someone experience this new art form for the first time, which you so rarely get. but you're watching people make a connection of seeing it live. >> reporter: with the stakes and expectations never higher for the "star wars" franchise, driver's time as an infantryman and as supreme leader of the first order has given him perspective. >> these are movies that always inspired me. so to not only be a fan of them but an active participant has always been surreal from the moment i met with j.j. to now,
where i still don't realize that it's over. >> reporter: and he's appreciative for whatever challenging role comes next. >> to ask other people to give two hours of their time, it better be worth it. >> reporter: for nightline, i'm adrienne bankert in san francisco. >> "the rise of skywalker" is out in theaters thursday. next, the wish come true for mariah carey, hitting a high note. "all i want for christmas is you." drivers just wont put their phones down. we need a solution. introducing... smartdogs. the first dogs trained to train humans. stopping drivers from: liking. selfie-ing. and whatever this is. available to the public... never. smartdogs are not the answer. but geico has a simple tip. turn on "do not disturb while driving" mode. brought to you by geico.
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finally tonight, the gift that keeps on giving to mariah carey. ♪ ooh, yeah 'twas ten nights before christmas when a musical wish came true. a new record this day for "all i want for christmas is you." it's finally billboard's number one after 25 years. ms. mariah tweeting today "we did it!" to applause and great cheers. ♪ all i want for christmas is you ♪