Counter narrative, a story that calls attention to and rebuts the presumptions of a dominant narrative framework, functions as an essential tool to reshape the bounds of the law. It has the potential to shape the collective notion of what constitutes legal authority. Black Lives Matter offers a counter narrative that challenges the characterization of the shared public space, among other aspects of contemporary society, as the space of law. Using the concept of necropower—the mobilization and prioritization of the state’s power to kill—I analyze the contested physical and conceptual space of law exposed by the counter narrative of Black Lives Matter. In doing so, this article suggests a need for legal doctrines to create space for otherwise excluded subjects in the framework of constitutional protections, such as the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. More fundamentally, it identifies the way narrative informs the parameters of legal authority and legal recognition.
SMU L. Rev.