1st Edition

Gringo Injustice Insider Perspectives on Police, Gangs, and Law

Edited By Alfredo Mirandé Copyright 2020
    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    260 Pages
    by Routledge

    The recent mass shooting of 22 innocent people in El Paso by a lone White gunman looking to "Kill Mexicans" is not new. It is part of a long, bloody history of anti-Latina/o violence in the United States. Gringo Injustice brings this history to life, shedding critical light on the complex relationship between Latinas/os and the United States’ legal and judicial system.

    Contributors with first-hand knowledge and experience, including former law enforcement officers, ex-gang members, attorneys, and community activists, share insider perspectives on the issues facing Latinas/os and initiate a critical dialogue on this neglected topic. Essays examine the unauthorized use of deadly force by police and patterned incidents of lynching, hate crimes, gang violence, and racial profiling. The book also highlights the hyper-criminalization of barrio youth and considers wide-ranging implications from the disproportionate imprisonment of Latinas/os. Gringo Injustice provides a comprehensive and powerful look into the Latina/o community’s fraught history with law enforcement and the American judicial system. It is an essential reference for students and scholars interested in intersections between crime and communities of Color, and for use in Sociology, Latino Studies, Ethnic Studies, Chicano Studies, Criminology, and Criminal Justice.

    List of Contributors


    Part I. State Sanctioned Violence
    1. A History of Anti-Latino State Sanctioned Violence: Executions, Lynchings and Hate Crimes (Maritza Pérez)
    2. Officer Involved Shootings of Latinos: Moving Beyond the Black/White Binary (Robert J. Durán)
    3. Interest Convergence Theory and Police Use of Deadly Force on Latinos: A Case Study of Three Shootings (Roberto Rivera)
    4. Killing Ismael Mena: "The Swat Teams Feared for Their Lives…" (Ernesto Vigil)

    Part II. The Youth Control Complex
    5. The Street Terrorism and Enforcement Act: A New Chapter on the War on Gangs (Alfredo Mirandé)
    6. Latino Street Gangs, La EME, and the Short Corridor Collective (Richard A. Alvarado)
    7. "Captives While Free": Surveillance of Chicana/o Youth in a San Diego Barrio (José S. Plascencia-Castillo)
    8. Hyper-Criminalization: Gang Affiliated Chicana Teen Mothers Navigating Third Spaces (Katherine L. Maldonado)

    Part III. Race, Citizenship, and Law
    9. A Class Apart: The Exclusion of Latinos/as From Grand and Petit Juries (Alfredo Mirandé)
    10. Whiteness, Mexican Appearance and the 4th Amendment (Alfredo Mirandé)



    Alfredo Mirandé, a native of Mexico City and the father of three children, is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. He is a practicing attorney who previously taught at the Texas Tech University School of Law. Mirandé received a BS in social science from Illinois State University, MA and PhD degrees in sociology from the University of Nebraska, and a JD from Stanford University. Mirandé's teaching and research interests are in Chicano sociology; masculinity; constitutional law; civil rights; and the relationship among law, race, class, and gender. He has also published numerous journal articles on sociology, law, and ethnic studies and is the author of The Age of Crisis; La Chicana: The Mexican American Woman (coauthored with Evangelina Enríquez); The Chicano Experience: An Alternative Perspective; Gringo Justice; Hombres y Machos: Masculinity and Latino Culture; The Stanford Law Chronicles: ‘Doin' Time on the Farm; Jalos USA: Transnational Community and Identity; and Behind the Mask: Gender Hybridity in a Zapotec Community.

     Gringo Injustice is a path-breaking collection, destined to be the definitive resource on Latinos/as in the criminal justice system. Combining a range of sociological and legal frameworks with "insider" experiences, the book casts new light on the dual system of justice that produces some of the most pressing challenges facing Latinos today. Maxine Baca Zinn, Michigan State University

    Alfredo Mirandé and the book's contributors have produced an audacious volume of theoretically grounded and empirically driven work treating each with lucidity and grace. Rodolfo D. Torres, University of California, Irvine, and coauthor of Capitalism and Critique: Unruly Democracy and Solidarity Economics.

    Books on the criminal "justice" system have typically focused on African Americans. Alfredo Mirandé’s Gringo Justice is a wonderful correction to this trend. The chapters are powerfully written by scholars, activists, lawyers, and historians and address various justice issues affecting Latinos (e.g., police shootings of unarmed Latinos, projects to attempt to curb police violence against Latinos, inter-ethnic conflict in prisons, racialized anti-gang policies, and surveillance). I highly recommend this book and will use it myself in my classes. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Duke University, author of Racism without Racists