Gringo Injustice: Insider Perspectives on Police, Gangs, and Law, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Gringo Injustice

Insider Perspectives on Police, Gangs, and Law, 1st Edition

Edited by Alfredo Mirandé


256 pages

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Paperback: 9780367276065
pub: 2019-09-24
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Hardback: 9780367276058
pub: 2019-09-24
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Despite the increase in public concern with crime and police violence in minority communities, racial profiling, victimization of people of Color and a powerful "Black Lives Matter" movement started in direct response to incidents of excessive police force, the victimization of Latinos has been relatively ignored.

Written by insiders with first-hand knowledge and experience, Gringo Injustice explores the complex relationship between Latinos in the United States and the legal and judicial system in the 21st century. Authors from a range of different backgrounds before becoming academics, including former law enforcement officers, ex-gang members and gang-affiliated youth, practicing attorneys and community activists, share their unique perspectives on the issues facing Latinos and initiate a critical dialogue on an important and neglected topic. Essays examine the unauthorized use of deadly force by police officers and incidents of racial profiling, particularly among those of Mexican origin. The book also highlights the hyper-criminalization of barrio youth and the disproportionate imprisonment of Latinos. Broadly, the authors address why there is so little public concern related to these issues and provide timely policy recommendations and alternative solutions to these persistent problems.


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

Table of Contents

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)


About the Editor

A native of Mexico City, Alfredo Mirandé is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside and a practicing attorney. He received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Nebraska and a Juris Doctorate from Stanford University. Mirandé previously taught at the Texas Tech University School of Law and is a member of the California Bar. He has published numerous articles and ten books focusing on law, gender, and Chicano Sociology, most recently Jalos, USA: Transnational Community and Identity (University of Notre Dame Press, 2014) and Behind the Mask: Gender Hybridity in a Zapotec Community (The University of Arizona Press, 2017).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General