Peace Officer ★★★½

"When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

I hate to use this term (as it tends to turn off my own desire to see a film), but Peace Officer (a title that anticipates the tragic irony therein) is one of the most important documentaries of the year, using individual narratives and a reliable central character to expose the breadth of the problems with the current state of policing in the U.S. and going beyond the media's current fixation on race. All too often, I find those "important" docs to be little more than exercises in preaching to the converted. (e.g., Was anyone who was actually skeptical of Edward Snowden's veracity and motives any less skeptical after viewing the overwrought, sycophantic Citizenfour?) However, I was genuinely shocked during certain segments of Peace Officer - not just by the accounts of the victims of an increasingly para-militarized police force, but by the inexplicable unaccountability and the chilling, and often delusional, rebuttals offered by law enforcement and their own families.

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