Some Implications of the Moral Vulnerability of Police
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The situational sources of vulnerability to which police are subject when on duty have been well documented. However, the moral vulnerability of police has received less attention, and this is a significant oversight given that increasing a person’s vulnerability puts them at increased risk of harm and so is prima facie wrong (in the absence of any very good reasons to the contrary). In this chapter, two important senses of moral vulnerability are clarified and applied to two contemporary issues in policing: the defensiveness of police when called to account for their actions or inactions, and their use of tasers. This perspective on the issues allows for some important ethical insights to be identified. In addition, the discussion demonstrates that moral vulnerability is a susceptibility to very real harms and, therefore, where such vulnerability exists, it ought to impact on our ethical assessments.
KeywordsPolice Officer Police Action Moral Community Moral Condemnation Police Work
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