Paul J. Kaplan



Looking Through the Gaps: A Critical Approach to the LAPD’s Rampart Scandal

The LAPD’s Rampart Scandal raises serious questions about the Los Angeles justice system at many levels. Analysts have focused mostly on the character of a few individuals at the heart of the scandal, although a few commentators have discussed the LAPD’s organizational problems. The LAPD’s internal investigation, as well as media representations, blamed a few Black and Hispanic officers. This article brings a critical perspective to the discourse on the LAPD’s Rampart scandal by analyzing official and media accounts of the events. This analysis suggests two less visible ideological causal factors: the war on crime and the privileging of the white juridical subject. Identifying factors such as these might help us to understand and prevent future police misconduct and scandals in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Rampart Scandal, narrative, official story, gang enforcement, media

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 36, No. 1 (2009): 61-81


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