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Planning, Risk and the (Im)possibility of Repair

Authors: Asha Best*, Clark University, Amy Dundon*, Clark University
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: Reparations, Cities, Policing
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper thinks through the (im)possibility of repair and recompense in cases of police-involved violence -- particularly cases involving the premature loss of Black life at the hands of the police. In the piece, we use civil suits filed against officers of the NYPD starting in the 1980s in order to understand how claims for compensation are made in cases of police-involved violence. We read this archive against the myriad actuarial practices through which cities manage, plan around and account for the contiguous losses occurring under the cover of law. Here, we argue that these practices delimit the responsibilities of municipalities in cases of police-involved violence, and in doing so ask us to think about recompense beyond compensation. Our goal is to think through the entanglement of “risk,” liability, and compensation and to consider different conditions through which we might understand responsibility and repair.

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