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The 38th street gang is a Mexican-American (Chicano) street gang from South Los Angeles|South Central, Los Angeles, California. The 38th street is one of the oldest gangs and one of the few still in existence and continuously active.

History Edit

The 38th Street gang was founded in the 1920s. They date back to the pachucos, zoot suits and formed in the Vernon, California|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.<ref name="Delgadillo">"Delgadillo, Bratton, Perry Announce Crackdown on South L.A.'s 38th Street Gang", Office of Civil Attorney, L.A., August 24, 2006. 

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</ref><ref name="PBS">"People & Events: The Sleepy Lagoon Murder", PBS, Unknown. 
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</ref> On October 4, 1943, the convictions of the gang members were overturned and the gang members were allegedly welcomed back to their communities as heroes.<ref name="NAGIA">"A History of california's Hispanic Gangs", National Alliance of Gang Investigators' Associations, Unknown. 
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</ref><ref name="PBS" /> 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 U.S. Army|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.<ref name="NAGIA" /> This became known as the Zoot Suit Riots and culminated in a massive riot involving hundreds of sailors against Zoot Suiters and some innocent civilians. The day after the riots the city council adopted a resolution that banned the wearing of zoot suits on Los Angeles streets.<ref name="PBS">"People & Events: The Zoot Suit Riots of 1943", PBS, Unknown. 
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</ref>

Criminal ActivitiesEdit

Since the 1920s, the 38th Street gang has continued its criminal activities and has evolved to become one of California's most violent street gangs. They conduct various activities including Illegal drug trade|drug sales, murder, theft and vandalism.<ref name="Delgadillo" /> In the late 1980s and early 1990s the city closed many of its roads in the 38th street vicinity; due to high volume of people that were coming to purchase narcotics in the area. The city hoped that having blocked streets would make it impossible for people coming in from other areas to purchase narcotics. By the late 1990s a federal task force was set up in order to investigate the gang's involvement in illegal drug trade; this resulted in the arrest of several of its members, the authorities confiscated thousands of dollars in drugs and money, as reported by the Los Angeles Times and local news channels. The group has also quarreled with various rival gangs for placement and competition, which has resulted in many drive-by shootings and deaths. On August 24, 2004 a law enforcement preliminary injunction was handed out on terminating the active members of the 38th Street gang, out of the streets, banning them from using firearms, alcohol, graffiti and other dangerous materials in public.<ref name="Delgadillo" />


See also Edit

  • List of California street gangs

ReferencesEdit


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