Policing Queer Bodies: Focusing on Queer Embodiment in Policing Research as an Ethical Question

  • Angela Dwyer


This paper takes up an ethically challenging position: it argues that it may be useful to explore how ‘queering’ heteronormative embodiment in public space may lead to certain types of policing practices. It argues that policing may involve ways of ‘reading’ particular bodies as ‘queering’ heteronormative ways of doing subjectivity, and that this may have implications for queer communities more broadly. In doing this, the paper challenges policing as somehow impartial by suggesting that more could be done for queer communities. Informed by literature about heteronormative police culture, hate crimes and embodiment, police-queer relationships, and ethical policing practices, this paper brings together these discomforting issues and suggests they are explicitly important for policing young people that ‘queer’ heteronormativity. The paper concludes with a call for ‘embodying’ criminological research to produce ethicalpolicing practices with queer communities.


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