I just finished watching “Officer Involved” this morning, a documentary about officers who have had to use deadly force in the line of duty. The film gives insight into the effects of being involved in this type of incident and its fallout on police officers. It truly gives a look into the human aspect of wearing a badge and being faced with difficult and deadly encounters.

The feeling that permeated the entire documentary was that using deadly force is life changing for the officer involved. That held true regardless of race, gender, background, or location. Each event had similarities, as well as unique responses ranging from post-traumatic stress, second-guessing decisions, survivor’s guilt, resilience, and media/community scrutiny. Every shooting led to additional challenges in the officers’ lives, some short lived and some long term. The humanity portrayed by the people in focus clearly shows that these police officers were not acting in a malicious manner and felt like they had no other choice.

This documentary is a must watch for police officers, supervisors and executives. More importantly, it should be shared with the public to truly understand what the decision to use deadly force in the line of duty is like. Personally, I plan to share this with my students this semester.