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Zoot Suit Riots

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Paige Ortiz


Riots in L.A.

The Zoot suit riots took place in Los Angeles, California during the 1940' was hard for the Mexican Americans to be themselves because of the oddness and suspicion revolved around them. People would accuse them for being criminals because of their race and because they dressed a certain way. They were know as the "Zoots Suits". they wore a suit that had long broad shouldered coats with extra baggy pants that ft tight at the ankles. They wore a long chain pocket watch and a broad brimmed hat with a feather in it. This was the standard pachuco outfit for teenage boys. Many people thought about it as gang related.

On August 1, 1942, Henry Leyvas and some of his friends were involved in a fight with another group of pachucos at Williams Ranch by a lagoon which is now called Sleepy Lagoon. A young man had died the next morning at the name of Jose Diaz. He was found unconscious and bleeding to death. Henry Leyvas and Twenty -four other members of the "38th street gang" had been arrested and charged for the murder of Jose Diaz. On august tenth and eleventh , the police stopped everybody in the Mexican barrios. If the person had any tools, like a hammer or even a bottle opener, they were arrested. Six hundred people were arrested and one hundred seventy five were held on charges. Everyone that was arrested was a Spanish surnamed individual. There was no eyewitness to the crime and no murder weapon. It could not be proved the Jose Diaz was



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