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Surprise: People Care About Police Militarization...Popularity of "Peace Officer" Documentary Proves it.

12 November 2015 Published in The ACLU of Utah Activist

If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s time for you to check out “Peace Officer.”peaceofficer

This blog post was written by Delaney Woodfield, Fall 2015 Intern

Released earlier this year, the documentary film about police militarization and the overuse of SWAT teams for home invasions by law enforcement is incredibly timely. Anger and activism in response to high-profile incidents of police brutality have gained rapid momentum across the country, and with the debut of “Peace Officer,” people were finally able to watch a film that confirms what Americans of all walks of life have begun to suspect. Use of military-like force – and a pervasive militaristic philosophy – are becoming the norm within our law enforcement agencies. As “Peace Officer” illustrates, there has been 15,000% increase in SWAT team raids in the United States since the 1970’s.

An otherwise unknown documentary that debuted in only a handful of cities, “Peace Officer” is now spreading like wildfire, catching the eyes of many major news outlets and media personalities within a matter of months. Critical reviews have stacked up, emphasizing and praising the documentary’s well-crafted and investigative approach.

A recent review by The Boston Globe highlights the intelligence and good will exuded throughout the film by its main character, William “Dub” Lawrence, a former Davis County Sheriff. The Boston Globe review calls Dub a “skilled investigator”, stating that his display of investigative skills and passion for advocacy exceeds what one would see on the best episodes of CSI.  The Boston Globe’s review has sparked interest to other major news outlets, such as the Los Angeles Times and New York Times. The Hollywood Reporter called "Peace Officer" a "powerful and important film about policing tactics that have crept into everyday use with little scrutiny.”

Those of us who have seen the documentary noticed local surroundings and landmarks. “Peace Officer” takes place in Utah – focusing on the tragedies that have occurred in-state from the unnecessary use of tactile force by police for seemingly harmless crimes. The incidents that took place in Ogden, Farmington and other neighboring cities reflect the disasters that are occurring across the country. Upon seeing the documentary, people were able to relate with the stories in the film to the bigger picture: militarized police tactics are being used everywhere and it is dangerous.

If you have not seen the film, there is still time! In fact, there will be a free screening on the evening of November 18th, for the second Annual Fourth Amendment Forum, co-hosted by the ACLU of Utah, Libertas Institute, and the Utah Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers.  Immediately following the film will be a short discussion panel - as well as some welcoming remarks by the star, Dub Lawrence!

You can reserve your FREE tickets now here.

UPDATE: all free tickets to the Fourth Amendment Forum screening have been snapped up!! You can purchase tickets to "Peace Officer" screenings by using the above link.