Peace Officer, an Independent Lens presentation

(Rochester, NY) – Winner of both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards for Best Documentary at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival, Peace Officer is the story of William “Dub” Lawrence, a former sheriff who established and trained Utah’s first SWAT team — only to watch in horror as that same unit killed his son-in-law in a controversial standoff years later. Directed by Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber, Peace Officer, an Independent Lens presentation airs Monday, May 9, 2016 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

Driven by an obsessive sense of mission, Lawrence uses his investigative skills to uncover the truth about that incident and other officer-involved shootings in his community, while tackling larger questions about the changing face of peace officers nationwide.His commitment to turn around the systemic failings he saw as a young officer led to a successful bid to become Sheriff of Davis County, Utah, in 1974. As a newly elected Sheriff, Lawrence used his skills to help break the Ted Bundy case. Committed to the highest standards of peace officers serving the public good, he once wrote himself a parking ticket when a citizen called him out for his patrol car's violation.  

After years in public service, Lawrence now works in semi-retirement as a private investigator on projects fueled mostly by income from his water and sewage pump repair service. When he's not wading through raw sewage, his remaining free time is spent investigating the shooting death of his son-in-law Brian Wood. Using painstaking and exhaustive forensic techniques to find and examine evidence the police have overlooked, Lawrence reconstructs what happened to Wood on the day of his death. 

Immediately following this documentary, PBS presents a two-night event under the overarching theme of Armed in America, furthering the national conversation around American guns. The two-night event centers around this Independent Lens film, as well as Armor of Light, which airs Tuesday, May 10 on WXXI-TV. The America After town hall discussions following each film seamlessly and building off of the content of each film.

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