Perspectives on Politics 17 (4):958-972 (2019)
AbstractAfter a fatal police shooting in the United States, it is typical for city and police officials to view the family of the deceased through the lens of the law. If the family files a lawsuit, the city and police department consider it their legal right to defend themselves and to treat the plaintiffs as adversaries. However, reparations and the concept of “reparative justice” allow authorities to frame police killings in moral rather than legal terms. When a police officer kills a person who was not liable to this outcome, officials should offer monetary reparations, an apology, and other redress measures to the victim’s family. To make this argument, the article presents a philosophical account of non-liability hailing from self-defense theory, centering the distinction between reasonableness and liability. Reparations provide a non-adversarial alternative to civil litigation after a non-liable person has been killed by a police officer. In cases where the officer nevertheless acted reasonably, “institutional agent-regret” rather than moral responsibility grounds the argument for reparations. Throughout the article, it is argued that there are distinct racial wrongs both when police kill a non-liable black person and when family members of a black victim are treated poorly by officials in the civil litigation process.
Similar books and articles
Shooting to Kill: The Ethics of Police and Military Use of Lethal Force.Seumas Miller - 2016 - New York: Oxford University Press USA.
Necessity, Moral Liability, and Defensive Harm.Joanna Mary Firth & Jonathan Quong - 2012 - Law and Philosophy 31 (6):673-701.
Moral Issues in Police Work.Frederick Elliston & Michael Feldberg (eds.) - 1985 - Rowman & Allanheld.
Are the Police Necessary?Roger Wertheimer - 1975 - In E. Viano & J. Reiman (eds.), The Police in Society. D.C. Heath.
The basis of moral liability to defensive killing.Jeff McMahan - 2005 - Philosophical Issues 15 (1):386–405.
Beyond Moral Responsibility and Lesser-Evils: Moral Desert as a Supplementary Justification for Defensive Killing.James Murray - 2014 - Dissertation, Queen's University
Police Integrity England, Wales and Northern Ireland ; Securing and Maintaining Public Confidence.Great Britain - 1999
Towards transitional justice? Black reparations and the end of mass incarceration.Jennifer Page & Desmond King - 2018 - Ethnic and Racial Studies 41 (4):739-758.
The Ethics of Reparations Policies.Alasia Nuti & Jennifer Page - 2018 - In Annabelle Lever & Andrei Poama (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy. New York, NY, USA: pp. 332-343.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Police-Generated Killings: The Gap between Ethics and Law.Ben Jones - 2022 - Political Research Quarterly 75 (2):366-378.
Truth and Reparation for the U.S. Imprisonment and Policing Regime: A Transitional Justice Perspective.Jennifer M. Page & Desmond King - 2022 - Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 19 (2):209–231.
References found in this work
No references found.