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 recent incidents connected with the so-called “Zoos Suit” riots involved mob action, and incipient rioting, by many soldiers and other service men.
2. Prompt action to check such action has been taken, and charges are being preferred against those arrested for inciting or actually participating in these riots.
3. It is obvious that many soldiers are not aware of the serious nature of riot charges. Convictions in a recent serious riot have resulted in sentence to death or long confinement.
4. It is desired that the attention of all Military personnel be called immediately to the critical dangers of any form of rioting and that incidents which may start as thoughtless group action in comparatively trivial offenses or boisterous conduct are liable to develop into mob riots of the most serious character. Further, mob rioting usually results in injury to persons in no way connected with the initial causes of the disorder. This is true in the case of the recent disorders, which resulted in affront and injury of some completely innocent civilians.
5. Military personnel of all ranks must understand that no form of mob violence or rioting will be tolerated, and that offenses of this nature will result in immediate and drastic disciplinary action.
Major General, U.S. Army Commanding