38th Street gang

38th Street Gang

Criminal Organization
Criminal Organization Less

38th Street gang

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The 38th Street gang is a Chicano street gang from South Central, Los Angeles. The 38th Street gang is one of the oldest street gangs in Los Angeles.


Founded in the 1920s, the 38th Street gang dates back to the pachucos and zoot suits and was formed in the borderline between South Central and the city of Vernon. They received media attention in the 1940s as a result of the "Sleepy Lagoon Murder" and trial. Several members were arrested and convicted of the murder of José Díaz. Shortly after "Sleepy Lagoon", the newspapers were said to have exaggerated the headlines about the gang that wore zoot suits and created war-time hysteria and prejudice against the Mexican-American community. Many Mexican-Americans from the segregated parts of town were attacked by sailors and members of other branches of the United States military. The military personnel felt Zoot Suiters were not contributing to the war effort and were wasting valuable resources by dressing so flamboyantly. Sailors also attacked innocent Hispanic civilians without provocation. After the riots and because of international criticism, the city council adopted a...
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