Racism, Racial Profiling, And Discrimination On Behalf Of The Los Angeles Police Department

Racism, Racial Profiling, And Discrimination On Behalf Of The Los Angeles Police Department

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In August 1942, after the murder of farm worker Jose Diaz, the Los Angeles Police Department led a citywide dragnet that rounded up six hundred Mexican American youths in the City of Los Angeles. Ultimately, twenty four Mexican American individuals were accused and tried for the murder in a case known as the "Sleepy Lagoon Trial." The second-degree murder convictions nine of the teenagers received sparked a great deal of controversy as to whether they were given a fair trial and were rightly accused. In a letter addressed to the Governor of California, Earl Warren, in 1942, the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee demanded for pardon on behalf of the teenagers and insisted that there was insufficient evidence for a verdict. The committee asked the governor to review records showing evident signs of racism, racial profiling, and discrimination on behalf of the courthouse. The letter written by the defense committee called attention to incidents where the defendants were not able to consult their attorneys and were "forbidden to get hair-cuts and clean clothes from home" in order to preserve their "distinctive appearance"(Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee 2). Despite all the evidence pointing to a racially biased verdict, the nine teenagers were sent to San Quentin State Prison to serve their life sentences.
There is no doubt that race continues to play significant role in the way individuals are perceived and treated in the United States. Since the 1940 's, there has been racial prejudice and discrimination towards Mexican and Hispanic communities. To this day, Mexican and Hispanic groups continue to be stigmatized and oppressed by stereotypes that emerged as far back as the 1940 's. Following the Sleepy Lagoon trial, the War on Drugs ...


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...otypical effects that War on Drug propaganda has on Hispanic/Latino individuals in the City of Los Angeles. This paper will utilize research-based data presented in the scholarly article "Associations Between Ethnic Labels and Substance Use Among Hispanic/Latino" by Daniel Soto Wood, Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, James Thing, and Jennifer B. Unger to explore the relationship between ethnic labels and an increased chances of substance abuse among Hispanic/Latino adolescents in the Los Angeles area. I will analysis and investigate how War on Drug propaganda has contributed to the creation of ethnic labels that stigmatize and oppress Mexican/Hispanic communities today. The topics presented in this paper are controversial and serve to call attention to the ways the Hispanic/Latino individuals continue to be discriminated against and marginalized in the United States.
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