Humanities Institute

Film Screening: "Peace Officer"

Thu, January 7, 2016 | APL Terrazas Branch Library, 1105 East César Chávez Street, Austin, TX 78702

7:00 PM - 8:45 PM

"Peace Officer"

As a county sherrif, "Dub" Lawrence established and trained the first SWAT team in Utah. Now retired, he devotes much of his time to investigating the shooting death of his son-in-law, Brian Wood, killed in 2008 by the very SWAT unit Lawrence started thirty-three years earlier.

Filmmakers Brad Barber and Scott Chistopherson contextualize Lawrence's story within the increasing militarization of police forces across the United States. "No-knock" raids permitted by the War on Drugs and heavy weaponry combine with other factors to lead to a 15,000% rise in SWAT raids since the 1970s.

In a review published in March 2015, Variety says, "With Lawrence as its admittedly obsessed protagonist, “Peace Officer” is less accusatory than reformatory; it hopes that heightened awareness can begin to stop further instances of wildly excessive force, and seeks to reverse a tidal wave of police distrust among large sectors of the public. That shift will require not just reconsideration of whether military weapons and strategies are apt for civilian law enforcement, but reintroducing a “serve and protect” mission that seems increasingly waylaid by methods that treat citizens like enemy combatants."

Watch the trailer! 

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