7.4/10
416
3 user 21 critic

Peace Officer (2015)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Crime | April 2015 (Canada)
Trailer
2:30 | Trailer
Peace Officer is a documentary about the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of 'Dub' Lawrence, a former sheriff who established and trained his ... See full summary »
6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Radley Balko Radley Balko ... Self
William 'Dub' Lawrence William 'Dub' Lawrence ... Self
Learn more

More Like This 

Missing 411 (2016)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A documentary that chronicles the similar disappearances of five children in the wilds of North America, across multiple decades.

Directors: Michael DeGrazier, Benjamin Paulides
Stars: Jaryd Atadero, DeOrr Kunz Jr., Nate Eaton
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Popularized by the podcast, "Serial," the ongoing story of Adnan Syed who was convicted of murdering a high school student.

Stars: Luke Brindle-Khym, Rabia Chaudry, Saad Chaudry
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A charismatic leader founds a commune in Los Angeles in the early '70s based on natural food, spiritual practices and psychedelic rock. This short-lived era is recreated with archival material and the memories of participants.

Directors: Maria Demopoulos, Jodi Wille
Stars: Ahom Aquarian, Isis Aquarian, Elena Michaels
Do Not Resist (2016)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An account of the increasing use of military weapons and tactics by local law enforcement in the United States, counterpointed with civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of Michael Brown in 2014.

Director: Craig Atkinson
Stars: James Comey, Dave Grossman, Rand Paul
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An in-depth look at the culture of Los Angeles in the ten years leading up to the 1992 uprising that erupted after the verdict of police officers cleared of beating Rodney King.

Director: John Ridley
Stars: Damian 'Football' Williams, Terry White, Henry Keith Watson
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An examination of the enduring appeal of Leonard Nimoy and his portrayal of Spock in Star Trek: The Original Series (1966).

Director: Adam Nimoy
Stars: Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, Karl Urban
Enlighten Us (2016)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

ENLIGHTEN US: THE RISE AND FALL OF JAMES ARTHUR RAY is the story of the motivational rock star's meteoric rise, fall and return to the $11 billion self-help industry after his negligent ... See full summary »

Director: Jenny Carchman
Stars: James Arthur Ray
Marathon Man (1976)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider
The Force (2017)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

THE FORCE goes inside an embattled urban police department struggling to rebuild trust in one of America's most violent yet promising cities.

Director: Peter Nicks
Stars: Cat Brooks, Jonathan Cairo, Ben McBride
The Eleven (TV Series 2017)
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Possible serial killer Edward Harold Bell is due to be released from parole in the fall of 2017. He was only convicted of one murder from 1978. Private investigators are investigating his ... See full summary »

Stars: Michael W. Bunch, Edward Harold Bell, Geena Bocci
Cropsey (2009)
Documentary | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mystery surrounding five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances.

Directors: Barbara Brancaccio, Joshua Zeman
Stars: Joshua Zeman, Barbara Brancaccio, Bill Ellis
Action | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Charlie Sheen narrates, as cast and crew share their personal experiences making the Academy Award winning film, Platoon. This non-union, low budget, independent film was cast almost ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Sanchez
Stars: Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David
Edit

Storyline

Peace Officer is a documentary about the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of '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 investigation 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. Written by Scott Christopherson & Brad Barber

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

User Reviews

 
A fantastic and unbiased doco
6 October 2015 | by punishable-by-deathSee all my reviews

Similar somewhat to The Thin Blue Line in the way it investigates a broken justice system with the intention of raising awareness about the issues talked about, PEACE OFFICER follows a Utah local named William 'Dub' Lawrence, who had served as sheriff in the 1970's. During his time as sheriff the concept of SWAT teams was created, and in 1975 Dub thought that his county could use such a unit for hostile and violent situations.

30 years later, the SWAT team he created was responsible for the unwarranted shooting of his son-in-law.

Having worked as a police officer himself, while also being a very knowledgeable investigator, Dub has been obsessed with the case over a four year period, putting together a truly massive amount of information and evidence. Dub freely admits that it is a bit of an obsession, but hell, who could blame him? His friendly and caring nature gives the film a much needed heart, as he meets other families in the area who have suffered similar family tragedies. Without Dub and his giant grin and personality, this film could have felt like a sterile, depressing, news-style documentary. What we get however is extensive investigation into each of the crime scenes, usually coupled with stories from family members about the incident. Most of the film is narrated excellently by Dub.

Being a former law-man himself, these events worry Dub for more reasons than one. His son-in-law was fatally shot while posing no risk to anyone but himself. The other families Dub talks to have all report slightly different experiences, but they all involve the police and their heavy handed methods, eroding any trust these people may have had in law enforcement.

These heavy handed methods are scrutinised in the film, such as the excessive amount of military equipment now made available for small police departments, or the fact that SWAT teams are now used to execute simple search warrants, rather than their original intended function. In some cases, these SWAT teams park their cars around the corner or down the street, so the person living in the house they intend to breach has no idea the police have arrived. This can of course result in chaos, not to mention psychological trauma. How are these people supposed to know that it is the police who has broken into their house without warning?? This last sentiment really rings true when watching a leaked 'helmet cam' video of a SWAT team breaching a house. The ruthlessness of their actions is chilling.

This doco also makes use of multiple police videos, and effectively shows how trigger-happy officers can sometimes be, acting and dressing as if they are an invading force against the people, who have seemingly become the enemy. This is the core theme I took from the film (especially considering the title), as the notion that a police officer's duty is to 'protect and serve' is becoming more absurd and untruthful as time goes by. This contrasts greatly against Dub's time as sheriff, who reminisces early in the film on an old news article reporting that Dub had accidentally parked in a no parking spot, and upon being told about it, he wrote himself a ticket. It is a corny little story but it summarises the type of person Dub is, and more importantly the type of police officer he was. He was someone who could be trusted to protect and serve.

The film must also be given credit for interviewing police officers as well as the families affected. But given how well the facts of the film are presented, I found it hard to not laugh at their ignorance. Not one of them could see past their rose-tinted glasses. Each one effectively says the same thing in a different way: "there is nothing wrong with training provided and we aren't worried about the causalities that your film is focusing on". This unfortunately isn't surprising, as they are in a position of power. It isn't in their best interest to acknowledge that yes, their methods are broken and need to be closely examined; that yes, innocent people are being killed, injured, imprisoned or scared stupid every day. Some of the statistics presented are mind-blowing.

For example, from 2010-2014, officer-involved shootings in Utah accounted for more deaths than drug and gang violence combined. If that doesn't make you wary then you need to look around and open your eyes a little. I may not be a US citizen, but the behaviour and attitudes of their police forces has already trickled down to Australia, followed by the dark, dark blue, almost black, menacing uniforms. Never in Australia have the police seemed like such an enemy to the people, at least in my neck of the woods.

"I don't think mankind is equipped to deal with injustice forever" – William 'Dub' Lawrence

www.epilepticmoondancer.net


21 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Facebook | Instagram | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

April 2015 (Canada) See more »

Filming Locations:

Utah, USA

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$26,632

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,632
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed