Inside officer-involved shootings documentary

PORTSMOUTH, VA (WAVY) – Shootings can be traumatic for everyone involved. But when a law enforcement officer pulls the trigger, emotions on all sides are heightened.

The film “Officer Involved” was screened in Portsmouth on Sunday. The filmmaker, Patrick Shaver, says this documentary is not about determining who is right or wrong in officer-involved shootings, but instead, reveals the emotions of a police officer after killing a suspect; emotions that stick with the officer long after the crime scene wraps up.

Shaver says the themes in his film are shared across all areas of law enforcement.

“This is real close to home, real inside look to the aftermath of any kind of critical incident,” says Sergeant Christopher Scallon, who is with the Norfolk Police Department. Scallon is part of the team who coordinated Sunday’s screening.

Shaver and his team spent three years working on this project. They interviewed a number of police officers who had shot and killed someone. The movie explore themes like depression, PTSD, and what it’s like for officers to be forced to defend their decisions.

Shaver is a police officer in Georgia, and has seen his coworkers and friends deal with some of these issues, and that is why he created the film.

“A lot of police officers go through the experience of being involved in a shooting, and don’t have a lot of people that they really open up to about what they’re going through at home, what they are going through on their own. And they see the film and they are able to connect with a lot of the people that are on the screen,” says Shaver.

It’s an experience Sergeant Scallon hopes will help people better relate to police

“I think understanding a lot of the internal struggle and tragedy kind of really does…instead of being that badge, or that uniform or position, it’s a person within that position.,” Scallon says.

For more information, visit the Officer Involved website.

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