Search The Archive

Search the film archive

"A deeply touching and profoundly important piece of work." – Criterion Cast

William "Dub" Lawrence is a former Marine and retired sheriff who established and trained his state's first SWAT team. Thirty years later, the same unit kills Lawrence's son-in-law in a controversial stand-off. Driven to find the truth, Lawrence begins his own investigation. The more he uncovers the more he's compelled to re-evaluate the crime scenes of other 'criminals' killed by America's increasingly militarised police force.

With a unique figure at its centre – Lawrence was such a meticulously honest cop he once gave himself a parking ticket – Peace Officer exposes shocking examples of deadly force at the hands of police armed with military weapons and government immunity laws. Winner of the Grand Jury and Audience Awards (Documentary) at the SXSW Film Festival, it's an empathetic study of the hot-topic issue of excessive police violence and accountability.

"As engrossing and well crafted as it is timely ... a clear picture of a complex problem." – Variety