“I founded the SWAT team that killed my son-in-law”: A former Utah sheriff speaks out against police violence


William “Dub” Lawrence was a former sheriff who established and trained one of Utah’s first SWAT teams, only to watch in horror as that same unit killed his son-in-law in a controversial standoff years later. In Peace Officer, Dub, driven by an obsessive sense of mission, 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 police investigations nationwide.  

Dub’s 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. Now retired from public service, Dub spends his free time as a private investigator, especially focused on the shooting death of his son-in-law Brian Wood. His resourceful instincts soon uncover tragic mistakes made by the SWAT teams who confronted Wood, igniting a long-term obsession with bringing to light the truth behind officer-involved shootings and SWAT team raids. Many of Dub’s investigations stem from confrontations sparked by aggressive “no-knock” search warrant laws now typical across America.

The cases Dub investigates are contextualized within the growing frequency of SWAT raids and immunity laws established to prosecute the War on Drugs. Officers in cities and small towns are routinely armed with military surplus weapons and equipment, backed by federal incentives to use what they are given. These and other factors have led to a 15,000% increase in SWAT team raids in the United States since the late 1970s.

Learn more about the film here. To stream the full-length film until May 22 click here.


5 thoughts on ““I founded the SWAT team that killed my son-in-law”: A former Utah sheriff speaks out against police violence

  1. The intent was noble? Military men ARE dumb stupid animals! Noble intent? I pray HE finds himself the target of “noble” law enforcement! This is not a man it is a thug, a criminal, an enemy of humanity as much as any judaic.
    HE knows what it is like to be a victim? This ass has zero intellect, zero morality, zero ability to Love. May his days reflect what he has imposed on others! I pray he never finds a second of peace and dies alone and cold. Watching this creature makes me pray there is a hell and that this p.o.s. spends eternity there. May he cry and wretch every time he is alone.

      1. I left something out of my rant. One has to wonder if this “man” would have formed his present view if he only knew the victims he created thirdhand. His newfound sense of justice comes only from experiencing the only results his efforts could possibly have had closely himself. This is why I can find no credibility for this criminals claim of reform and find him lacking any intellect. He did not see what he was doing? What he saw was expendable enemies all around him save the thugs whose criminal gang he was part of and he wanted to “take it up a notch” and help make the entire U.S. a war zone with military justice imposed by his gang on all but his own. He is WAY too late to make amends. He should take his own life or we should put him to hard labour for life with all his efforts going to make his victims whole as far as that is possible. This p.o.s. will never seek restitution. He only wants to now “bring it down a notch’. What an ass.

  2. Immunity laws don’t make you bullet proof
    We have a RIGHT to feel and be safe within the walls of our homes
    That door is locked for your protection not mine
    You figure it out

    There is only one way to solve this and make the unlawful entry of our homes cost more to them than they are willing to take on
    Know that you will die if this event comes to your door no matter what , so be ready with all you have to remove their will to continue these acts against us at each and every illegal entry

  3. Boo-hoo-hoo! wa, wa, wa, oink, oink, oink!!! “Man invents “killer robots” that kills his son in law.” “Man killed setting his own bear trap.” “Bomb builder blows self up.” “Man has head up arse, unaware of monster he created until too late.”

    “Swat” teams, the intent was opposite of the actual result. We’re all “terrorists” until proven otherwise, good luck with that. They plant evidence like a farmer plants corn.

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *