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On the Thin Blue Line: Examining the Mexican American Officer Experience in the Los Angeles Police Department

  • Author(s): Gallardo, Roberto Carlos
  • Advisor(s): Aguirre, Adalberto
  • et al.

This study focuses on the impact of race on Mexican-American minority law enforcement officers’ ideology and experiences in the LAPD. Previous studies have focused on the issue of race within a municipal police department, however these studies have generally not included Hispanic/Latino officers. Most research has strictly focused on the impact of race on White and African-American officers, the impact of race on Hispanic/Latino officers (and especially Mexican-American officers) is relatively unknown. Interviews of Mexican-American officers were used gain the information required for analysis. The study finds that using a binary view of race, respondents understand and interpret interactions with other officers under a color blind ideology. Respondents also understand racism and discrimination as strictly an overt action or response. This is influenced by their occupational culture, their own history, and negative interactions with the community.

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