Active-duty police officer seeks crowdfunding to share the untold story of the police officers who have to make the ultimate choice to use deadly force.
ATLANTA, GA.— Most people don’t realize that incidences of officer-involved shootings are very rare events. Though there is no federally mandated statistic or tracking program for the number of officer-involved shootings, the best estimates are that American Law Enforcement personnel kill approximately 600 people per year, wounding another 1,200. This equates to barely a fraction of the over a million people employed by state and federal law enforcement agencies actually discharging a weapon in the line of duty. In fact, if officers shot and killed 10% of those who assaulted them, they would be shooting and killing roughly 6,000 people each year. The overwhelming majority of law enforcement personnel never fire their weapons, but for those that do, the firing of a gun is only the beginning of a life irreparably changed. The news and popular media typically focus on the civilian side of officer-involved shootings, never realizing that when a police officer makes the split-second decision to fire his or her gun, nothing is ever the same at either end of the weapon.
In Officer Involved, active-duty police officer P. W. Shaver shares the overlooked stories of the officers who actually use deadly force, shining a light on the world of internal investigations, civil trials, protracted media attention and public finger-pointing that becomes their lives after the event. The documentary combines interviews with many police officers who have personal experience of line-of-duty shootings, with insight from psychologists, analysts, attorneys, and other subject matter experts to create a never-before-seen picture of the years of scrutiny that follow the split-second decision to fire a weapon. The work also uses live-action experiments to demonstrate the real life and death decisions faced by officers in the moment, showing how many officers put off the decision to use deadly force until the last possible moment, knowing full well that it will change their lives forever. Up until now Shaver has been funding the documentary out of pocket, but now he is turning to crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo to raise the $28,500 he needs to complete the film. Contributors to the campaign receive perks for their support, ranging from a personal thank you on the Officer Involved website, to a private screening of the finished documentary with the filmmaker.
About P. W. Shaver
An active-duty police officer in Georgia, P. W. Shaver earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University at Buffalo and a Master’s of Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University. After beginning a career in healthcare, he worked in crisis counseling in the public sector before becoming a police officer. His recent projects include a study on Terror Management Theory and Mortality Salience among police recruits and an analysis of discourse surrounding the Berkeley student divestment action in California, published in 2012 in the Journal of Peace and Change. To contribute to Shaver’s crowdfunding campaign for Officer Involved, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/officer-involved-project.
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