Peace Officer Documentary: Part I – No Legitimate Basis For Government

peace-officer documentary

This week I attended a special screening of the documentary film Peace Officer, a winner of numerous 2015 film festival awards.

Peace Officer is a feature documentary about the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of William “Dub” Lawrence, a former sheriff who established and trained his rural state’s first SWAT team only to see that same unit kill his son-in-law in a controversial standoff 30 years later. Driven by an obsessed sense of mission, Dub uses his own investigative skills to uncover the truth in this and other recent officer-involved shootings in his community while tackling larger questions about the changing face of peace officers nationwide.

The film was compelling, and while primarily centered on Dub Lawrence, who who will surely graduate life with honors (and appears to exude an amount of joy uncharacteristic of his circumstances, whether it be lowering himself by crane into a backed up sewer drain or recounting the 4-year long investigative odyssey into his son-in-law’s homicide), I felt there was also a near equal allotment of camera time given to the various other subjects of the film including those on either side as well as those sitting on the fence in regards to the topic of police militarization and accountability.

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