WPSU to host gun violence documentary screening, town hall discussion on Feb. 16

February 08, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State community and Centre region are invited to a documentary screening and live town hall about the state of gun violence on Feb. 16 at the WPSU studios.

WPSU Penn State will host a screening of the award-winning documentary “Peace Officer,” followed by a live town hall discussion beginning at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the WPSU studios at Innovation Park. Registration, which is free and open to the public, is available at wpsu.org/peaceofficer. Questions for the panel can be submitted on the registration page, by emailing connect@wpsu.org and tweeting @WPSU. The documentary and town hall will also air on WPSU-TV.

The expected four-person panel will include the documentary’s protagonist, William “Dub” Lawrence, and the discussion will be led by Matt Jordan, associate professor of media studies in Penn State’s College of Communications.

"The rise of these special police units using military tactics is both a cause and effect of the popular myth that violent crime is on the rise in America,” Jordan said. “Do they help keep the peace, or does using such tactics feed fear and lead to escalation? We want to help communities and law enforcement build trust and de-escalate potentially violent situations, and the first step toward solving any problem is by talking it through and finding common ground as we search together for solutions." 

“Peace Officer” explores the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through Lawrence, a former sheriff who established and trained Utah’s first SWAT team. The special force would later kill his son-in-law in a standoff, and Lawrence uses his own investigative skills to uncover the truth behind the incident as well as other recent officer-involved shootings in his community.

The event is offered through the Talking Together About Guns initiative, which is sponsored by several Penn State colleges and organizations, including the College of Communications and the College of the Liberal Arts’ Department of Communication Arts and Sciences and The Rock Ethics Institute. The initiative hopes to foster conversations about guns, gun violence and gun safety on campuses, in communities and across the state.

Visit the WPSU Penn State website for more information. 

  • WPSU Penn State
    IMAGE: WPSU Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated June 14, 2021