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Peace Officer in America

"Peace Officer" offers a poignant and intense examination of police violence in America through the personal journey of a former sheriff.

Keywords: Police Violence, SWAT Teams, Family Tragedy, Investigative Documentary, U.S. Law Enforcement. Three Words: Intense, Revealing, Controversial.


"Peace Officer" is a compelling documentary that delves into the complexities of police violence in America. Directed by Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson, the film was released in 2016 and follows the journey of William 'Dub' Lawrence, a former sheriff who faces a personal tragedy at the hands of his own SWAT team.


The documentary tells the story of Dub, who established and trained his state’s first SWAT team, only to see the same unit involved in the fatal shooting of his son-in-law 30 years later. Consumed with a sense of mission, Dub uses his investigative skills to uncover the truth of this incident and other officer-involved shootings in his community, prompting larger questions about the changing face of peace officers nationwide.

More Film Analysis


The filmmakers use a powerful blend of personal narrative, investigative journalism, and historical context to weave a compelling narrative. The depth of research and the exploration of the subject matter are commendable, providing viewers with an in-depth look at the issues at hand.

Historical and Factual Context

"Peace Officer" is deeply rooted in the realities of contemporary American society, where police violence and calls for reform have become increasingly prevalent. The film offers a window into the escalating militarization of police departments across the country.

Key themes in the film

  • Police Violence
  • Personal Tragedy
  • Investigative Journalism
  • Police Reform
  • Militarization of Law Enforcement

Film Comparisons

While "Peace Officer" joins a growing number of documentaries exploring police violence, it stands out due to its personal and intimate narrative, providing a unique perspective on the issue.

Noteworthy Moments

One of the most significant moments in the documentary is the revelation of the tragic incident involving Dub's son-in-law, which serves as a poignant reminder of the human cost of police violence.


This documentary was well-received by both audiences and critics. "An important contribution to the ongoing dialogue about our nation's police tactics," writes The Hollywood Reporter.


"Peace Officer" is a powerful and important documentary that offers an in-depth examination of police violence and its consequences. It is particularly relevant for those interested in social justice, law enforcement, and American society.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%
  • Metacritic score: 74
  • Film festival awards: 6 wins & 4 nominations



  • William 'Dub' Lawrence: The main character, a former sheriff turned investigator.



  • Rural America: The main setting of the documentary.

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • How has the role of peace officers changed over the years?
  • What are the consequences of the militarization of police forces?
  • How can police violence be addressed effectively?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. If this film was a famous book, which one would it be? "To Kill a Mockingbird" - Both deal with justice and the misuse of power.
  2. If this film was a famous song, which one would it be? "Blowin' in the Wind" by Bob Dylan - The song's themes of peace, war, and freedom echo throughout the film.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, which one would it be? "The Third of May 1808" by Francisco Goya - Both the artwork and the film depict the harsh realities of violence.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, who would it be? Morgan Freeman - Known for his roles in films that tackle serious social issues.
  5. If this film was a color, which one would it be? Blue - Symbolizing both the police and feelings of sadness and melancholy.
  6. If this film was a music style, which one would it be? Blues - Known for expressing emotional pain and social issues.