This little story in L.A.’s Daily Breeze community newspaper previews a big trend: the Latinization of the criminal justice system. According to the piece by the Breeze’s Rachel Uranga, a majority of L.A.’s infamous LAPD – those inovative guys who brought you SWAT, the Rodney King incident (L.A. Riots too) and Rampart, the greatest police scandal in U.S. history-has taken another historic lead by having force that’s majority Latino.
The news will, no doubt, give rise to some of the sad triumphalism and misplaced pride of some from the “Our-time-is-now” set in the Latino community. This same will to replace whites will also give rise to calls for race and ethnicity-based promotion heard, unfortunately, in Uranga’s piece:
“Latino officers now outnumber whites in the Los Angeles Police Department, but the LAPD still doesn’t promote enough Latinos, blacks, Asians and women to high-ranking positions as required by a federal consent decree, according to a report released Tuesday. As of January, there were 3,787 Latino officers in the LAPD and 3,770 white officers,………..”
Another stunning reflection of the demographic momento? Yes. But good for justice……..probablemente no.
For reasons like those outlined here, this browning of (in)justice means that the work of protecting the property and interests of the corporate and individual elites will now be carried out by brown men in bloody blue uniforms; it means that the hand gracefully swinging the baton atop the head of a poor or young person will be browner; it means that a new class of Latino paramilitary elites will oversee a system that is jailing blacks and, now, Latinos with Soviet-like ferocity.
So save your “Si se puede” and other tired cliches for the presidential candidates who refuse to talk about why an exponentially-growing number of our kids ride the express train from cradle to prison.