This Article frames the killing of George Floyd as the result of flawed business regulation. More specifically, it captures the expansion of third-party policing paradigms throughout local nuisance abatement regulations over a period of time that coincided with the militarization of policing culture across the United States. Premised on the notion that law enforcement alone cannot succeed in reducing crime and disorder, such regulations transform grocery stores, pharmacies, bars, and other retail spaces into surveillance hubs by prescribing situations that obligate businesses to contact the police. This regulatory framework, however, sustains the larger historical project of rationalizing enhanced scrutiny of the public and private spaces that Black people occupy; supplies the imprimatur for wider societal involvement in the scrutiny of Black bodies—particularly by constituencies outside the ranks of traditional policing; and complicates psychological relationships Black people have with the settings they enter, while fueling the continued disregard for their bodily dominion.
Sheriffs, Shills, or Just Paying the Bills?: Rethinking the Merits of Compelling Merchant Cooperation with Third-Party Policing in the Aftermath of George Floyd’s Death
February 2, 2023