The car is a primary locus for police-civilian interaction as measured by routine legal intrusion into the lives of vulnerable populations – communities of color, undocumented immigrants, and those experiencing homelessness in particular. It is the car’s ability to transport bodies as well as its legal liminality as a hybrid public-private space that facilitates such coercive and carceral contact. I therefore argue for the increased inclusion of the car and contact made with its operators and occupants within studies of policing by geographers. In this article, I provide a review of how car space and the automobile have been discussed by social scientists more broadly, followed by a call for geographers to take the lead in centering the car in research looking at everyday policing and routinized state control of people occupying and moving through public space.
- legal geographies
- public space
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development