Journal article

A Question of Sacrifice: The Deep Structure of Deaths in Police Custody

I Loader

Social & Legal Studies | Published : 2020


Deaths in police custody present a set of enduring and troubling puzzles. Why do such deaths seldom result in prosecutions or adequate redress? Why are victims’ families so under-resourced and typically met with a conflicted mix of empathy and hostility? Why do acknowledged problems remain unresolved despite review after review making the same criticisms and seemingly consensual recommendations? Why is the state’s failure to fulfil its duty of care towards those it detains met with public indifference? In this article, I argue that we can shed new light on these questions if we theorize and investigate police power using the metaphor of sacrifice. Thinking about police power through this len..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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