Policing the anticommunity: Race, deterritorialization, and labor market reorganization in South Los Angeles
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Recent decades have seen the rise of both community partnerships and the carceral state. Community policing in Los Angeles arose after the 1992 uprisings and was built on two conceptual building blocks—the territorial imperative and community partnership—which remain central more than 20 years later. At the same time, LA has undergone a significant black-to-Latino demographic shift linked with its restructured economy. This article discusses these changes using archival analysis and 5 years of participant observation in one South LA precinct. Police help to reshape the demography of South LA in ways conducive to post-Fordist economic shifts. The “community” concept appropriated by urban governance initiatives is composed against the unwanted “anticommunity,” which serves to heighten territorial control over black and Latino residents. Rather than encourage community cogovernance over the institution of policing, community rhetoric facilitates racial preference in neighborhood transition under the auspices of an increasingly bifurcated labor market.