The Silencing Effects of the Rhetoric of Representation in Law Enforcement: Latinos in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Many law enforcement departments argue that because they have a racially diverse department, they are proponents of equity, justice, and inclusion. My research project “The Silencing Effects of the Rhetoric of Representation in Law Enforcement: Latinos in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department” aims to address the fact that despite racial integration, law enforcement agencies nevertheless remain proponents of racial violence. In particular, I will highlight this by demonstrating how Latino male officers often engage in high rates of use of force and shootings, often against Black and Latinx civilians. Many Latinx civilians are more afraid of Latino officers than white officers. I will analyze the LASD, the largest sheriff’s department in the country. My methods for conducting my research include utilizing department data on Latino officers engaged in shootings and use of force incidents to create statistics, conducting surveys with community members, and analyzing previously written articles. My results will demonstrate that many Latino officers engage in high levels of racial violence, upending the rhetoric of representation that law enforcement officials promote in order to portray themselves as reformed and just. I believe my conclusion from my research will be that policing has always been inherently violent, enforcing hegemonic power.