Armed in America: Police & Guns
Police & Guns, a one-hour town hall conversation exploring whether U.S. police forces are becoming increasingly militarized. Among those that participated in this conversation are Mr. Lawrence; Betty Taylor, former Winfield, Mo. Police Chief and SWAT Team Member; Alecia Phonesavanh, the mother of baby injured when a flash bang landed in his crib during a “no-knock” SWAT raid and other guests.
During the filming of PBS’ Armed In America: Police & Guns, audience members and panelists came together for a town hall in Orlando to start a broader conversation about gun violence and the moral obligation to prevent it. Join the discussion on social media using #PeaceOfficerPBS
In the weeks surrounding the riots in Ferguson, Missouri during the summer of 2014, Betty Taylor was running a police recruitment program in St. Louis. She discusses with Michel and audience the emotion and sense of community she witnessed.
Protestors lined the streets of Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown. Haiku remembers the police using militarized weapons against the citizens leading to further civil unrest between the community and law enforcement.
Former Sheriff of King County, Washington, Sue Rahr, shares her story of a violent standoff where her team would have greatly benefitted from receiving protective military equipment from the 1033 program.
Examine the nation’s rising gun violence with Independent Lens and PBS. Watch new documentary film Peace Officer — followed by a town hall discussion hosted by NPR’s Michel Martin.
In Ferguson, Missouri, unarmed man Michael Brown was shot by a white police officer in 2014. In Seattle 1999, a SWAT team faced anti-globalization protests that turned so sour that it was called the “Battle of Seattle”. Some psychologist say that the weapons the police carry may make them more aggressive towards others.
A panel discusses the growing militarization of the US police force and its impact on neighborhoods across America. SWAT team raids have increased over 15,000% since the 1970’s. With tensions growing between the people and the police, the film “Peace Officer” helps to start a conversation about whether police foster peace or create conflict.
Alecia Phonesavanh recounts the story of when a SWAT Team threw a flash bang grenade in through a window, and it landed in the crib of her son, baby Bou Bou. The SWAT Team rushed the baby to the hospital, where he was in a medically induced coma for three weeks. To date Baby Bou Bou has had 14 surgeries.
An armed gunman forced Iris Vickson out of her home at gunpoint, leaving her two year old daughter inside with the gunman. Iris tells the story of the SWAT team that negotiated for over 60 hours to bring Iris’ daughter back to her safely.