JACKSONVILLE, FL – Police shootings of suspects have become increasingly common and they always bring scrutiny. News4Jax spoke to a filmmaker who wanted to examine the toll these shootings can take on officers.
So far this year the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office have had four and last year, it had 10.
Filmmaker, Patrick Shaver spent the last two years traveling the country to talk with officers who have been involved in on-the-job shootings, to find out their struggles and how they cope.
Shaver showed his documentary to local officers at the Fraternal Order of Police– hoping the film will help the officers and their families.
New Orleans police officer Jonathan Hirdes was off-the-job and under investigation for five months in 2014, until he was cleared in the shooting death of 31-year-old Keith Atkinson.
He’s just one of more than 90 officers interviewed for the documentary, titled “Officer Involved.”
The film’s creator, who has a law enforcement background, hopes to bring awareness to how officers are perceived after these shootings.
“It basically walks the viewer through what led you to what led you to this job as a police officer… to what was it like in the aftermath of your shooting,” said Shaver.
It’s a topic that leaders at the FOP, and the JSO believe is important. They teamed up to bring a screening of the film to our area this weekend.
“We’re showing it because we want to be able to show our officers, their families, their spouses, or significant others what they can expect and what’s out there for them. Whether it’s help, or to understand what happened to them or one of their friends,” said FOP President Steven Zona.
The screenings are open to officers in surrounding agencies as well as their families. One screening is happening Saturday morning and another happens Sunday afternoon.
If you’re a member of law enforcement and you’d like to see the documentary, call Chelsea at 904-398-7010, extension 10.
Shaver said he has a road trip coming up this summer, on which he’ll be screening the film at police departments nationwide. He also hopes the film will be considered for a film festival.