Abstract

Abstract:

This paper theorizes police violence by elucidating the relationship between racialized violence and law. We contrast Giorgio Agamben's generalized state of exception with Walter Benjamin's targeted and localized account, which we complement with Saidiya Hartman's work on periodization and affect. We argue that racialized police violence is constitutive of law because police routinely enact violence in racially targeted ways, and judicial practice sanctions this violence through predictable deference to racialized affect, legitimizing anti-Black racism as fear for safety. We conclude that a theoretical account of law and violence must include material practices of policing and enforcement, for it is the latter that, in a racial state, are, in fact, law.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1092-311X
Print ISSN
2572-6633
Pages
pp. 902-934
Launched on MUSE
2020-10-22
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.