Historically, police departments have had a history of tense and even hostile relations with communities of color, with the Los Angeles Police Department as one of the most notorious. Looking back as far as the 1960’s and 1970’s, the LAPD has had police chiefs at the helm whose approach to law enforcement was not only aggressive, but paramilitary. What emerged in the later decades from the 80’s into the early 2000’s was an LAPD culture that was “anti-gang” equipped with policies with the intent of harassment, beatings, killings, and making lots of arrests.
Three years ago when we released our third podcast episode – “Filipino American Gangs in SoCal: Where are you from and where are you now?” – we wanted to look back at a time when gang crime was at its peak in California and how it affected Filipino American lives. On this episode, we wanted to extend that conversation. But, this time, we reflect back through eyes of our guest, decorated LAPD Gang Detective, Craig Marquez. Craig talks to us about growing up in Hawaii, becoming a cop, and, of course, Filipino American gangs. We look back what policing was like in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, and discuss what it’s evolved to today. TFAL talks about gang injunctions, the “Rampart Scandal,” systematic oppression of communities of color, and we even share our own experiences growing up not only fearing gangs, but fearing cops.
Whether or not we have mixed emotions about the law enforcement system as a whole, we hope we continue to remain vigilant and hopeful that law enforcement can truly protect and serve ALL people. Having the presence of Filipino Americans, like Craig, in law enforcement can perhaps be a small step in getting there.
Have any opinions about Filipino American gangs and law enforcement? Leave a voicemail at (805) 394-TFAL (8325) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.