Race, Police, and the Making of a Political Identity (Paperback)
Mexican Americans and the Los Angeles Police Department, 1900-1945 (Latinos in American Society and Culture #7)
University of California Press, 9780520213357, 372pp.
Publication Date: September 1, 1999
In this study, Edward J. Escobar examines the history of the relationship between the Los Angeles Police Department and the Mexican American community from the turn of the century to the era of the Zoot Suit Riots. Escobar shows the changes in the way police viewed Mexican Americans, increasingly characterizing them as a criminal element, and the corresponding assumption on the part of Mexican Americans that the police were a threat to their community. The broader implications of this relationship are, as Escobar demonstrates, the significance of the role of the police in suppressing labor unrest, the growing connection between ideas about race and criminality, changing public perceptions about Mexican Americans, and the rise of Mexican American political activism.