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NEW YORK TIMES, JUNE 13, 1943 LOS ANGELES GROUP INSISTS RIOTS HALT By Lawrence E. Davies LOS ANGELES, June 12 -Punishment of the guilty in crimes of violence, "regardless of what clothes they wear, whether they be zoot suits, police, Army or Navy uniforms," was demanded today by a Citizens' Committee appointed by Governor Earl Warren to investigate the Los Angeles outbreaks of the last ten days involving "zoos-suit" wearers and service men. Working closely with Robert W. Kenny, State Attorney General, the committee, headed by Bishop Joseph T. McGucken of the Catholic diocese here, declared that the streets of Los Angeles "must be made safe for service men as well as civilians, regardless of national origins." "The community as well as its visitors," it stated, "must learn that no group has the right to take the law into its own hands." The committee issued an eight-page report, with demands for immediate and long-range curative action, after hearing testimony for two days behind closed doors from city police officials, representatives of minority groups, and persons active in social welfare work. Its members plan to meet again on Monday and from time to time issue supplementary reports.... Virtual calm prevailed all over the county during the day after a caravan of fifty-three "zoot suiters" had driven past the City Hall with flags of truce fluttering from the jalopies. Captain Joe Reed of the Police Department, after interviewing them, congratulated them on their frank attitude.... Race Prejudice Factor Cited Governor Warren's committee found it to be "significant" that most of the persons mistreated during the recent incidents in Los Angeles were either persons of Mexican descent or Negroes. "In undertaking to deal with the cause of these outbreaks," its report said, "the existence of race prejudice cannot be ignored. "Youth is peculiarly sensitive. To be rejected by the community may throw the youth upon evil companions. "Any solution of the problems involves among other things an educational program throughout the community designed to combat race prejudice in all its forms.". . . [The committee] asked for additional facilities for the care and study of delinquent youth and described the problem as "one of American youth, not confined to any racial group." "The wearers of zoot suits," the report went on, "are not necessarily persons of Mexican descent, criminals or juveniles. Many young people today wear zoot suits. "It is a mistake in fact and an aggravating practice to link the phrase 'zoos suit' with the report of a crime. Repeated reports of this character tend to inflame public opinion on false premises and excite further outbreaks." Rise in Juvenile Delinquency "All juvenile delinquency has increased recently in Los Angeles. This includes crimes committed by youths of Mexican origin. But the fact is that the increase of delinquency in the case of youths of Mexican families has been less than in the case of other national or racial groups and less than the average increase for the community. "Between 1914 and 1929 all of California, and Los Angeles County in particular, had a rapid increase in Mexican population. The tremendous difficulties experienced by immigrants in making adjustments to their new surroundings are well known. We have learned that the problem is especially acute in the case of the second generation. The foreign-born parent loses authority over his American-born child; families tend to be broken up; and if the children are not completely accepted by their neighbors; they are often without responsible guidance. "These facts shed light on the youths of Mexican descent in Los Angeles. Many of them are second generation. About 98 per cent of them are American born. "Of the serious crimes committed by persons of Mexican descent, only 25 per cent are committed by minors. Most of the so-called 'zoos-suit' crime amounting to felony has been committed by persons who are fully and legally responsible for their acts." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEW YORK TIMES, JUNE 14, 1943 ZOOT SUIT FRONT QUIET LOS ANGELES, June 14 - Navy men, for whom Los Angeles has been out of bounds since last Tuesday, will have the freedom of the city again after tomorrow noon as the result of the almost complete absence of clashes over the weekend between young wearers of "zoos suits" and members of the armed forces. Rear Admiral David W. Bagley, commandant of the Eleventh Naval District at San Diego, announced this evening that the restrictive order would be lifted. He had telegraphed Flavor Fletcher Bowron that he contemplated doing so in view of favorable reports, but he first sought the Mayor's recommendation. The Mayor said he felt assured that order would be maintained. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- OFFICIAL MEMORANDA MEMO FROM COMMANDER CLARENCE FOGG TO THE DiSTRICT PATROL OFFICER, JUNE 8, 1943 Continued disorder. Hundreds of service men prowling downtown Los Angeles mostly on foot-disorderly-apparently on prowl for Mexicans. Have by joint agreement with Army Provost Marshall declared following Los Angeles city territory out of bounds to all Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Army personnel: Main Street east to Los Angeles city limits. All shore patrol are concentrated in the downtown area. Disorderly personnel are being arrested by shore patrol. Expect adverse publicity in morning newspaper. Los Angeles Police have called in all off-duty men and auxiliary police to handle situation. Naval Reserve Armory did not grant liberty. Men involved are from Marine activities, San Diego and El Toro, Navy activity composed of Roosevelt Base, Port Hueneme, and Destroyer Base, San Diego. Situation under control at present except for widely separated incidents. Groups vary in size from 10 to 150 men and scatter immediately when shore patrol approach. Men found carrying hammock clues, belts, knives, and tire irons when searched by patrol after arrest.... Senior Patrol Office will call District Patrol Officer at about 1000 today, June 8, 1943, if there is anything additional to report. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MEMO FROM COMMANDANT, ELEVENTH MAW DISTRiCT, TO ALL UNITS UNDER HIS COMMAND, JUNE 10, 1943 . . . The Commandant is seriously concerned over the recent disorders which have occurred in Los Angeles and its vicinity and which have assumed such serious proportion as to be broadcast on the radio and published in newspapers throughout the U.S. The Navy is a disciplined organization composed of loyal and intelligent men and partaking in any activities that are of the nature of mob violence is a direct reflection on the Navy itself and on the individual who wears the uniform. Irrespective of what may have been the original cause of these disorders the enforcement of the law rests in the hands of the civilian police and is not a matter which should be undertaken by any unauthorized groups of Navy personnel. The Commandant believes that the men now engaging in these demonstrations are actuated mainly by a desire for excitement and feels that they have not seriously considered the consequence which may follow from ill considered action. The Commandant suggests that commanding of fleers bring the substance of the above to the attention of the men of their commands in a personal and unofficial manner having full confidence that an appeal to the individual based on common sense and reasonableness will invoke prompt response.... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MEMO FROM MAXWELL MURRAY, MAJOR GENERAL, U.S. ARMY COMMANDING, TO HEADQUARTERS, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SECTOR, WESTERN DEFENSE COMMAND, PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, JUNE 11, 1943 1. The
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