TIME MAGAZINE, JUNE 21, 1943
For two nights the mobs of soldiers and sailors had found poor hunting. In long caravans of cabs and private cars they had toured the Mexican sections, armed with sticks and weighted ropes, crashing into movie houses, looking for zoos-suited pachucos, the little Mexican-American youths. But they had found only a few dozen, and not all of them even wore zoot suits. They had broken the jaw of a 12-year-old boy. Said the boy, in the hospital:
“So our guys wear tight bottoms on their pants and those bums wear wide bottoms. Who the hell they fighting, Japs or us?”
One Panzer division of the cab-and-car attack had rolled down a Mexican district side street, past the rows of mean, ramshackle frame houses. But they had only found a few victims to beat. One of them was a 1 7-year-old Russian boy, Pete Nogikoss, talking on a street corner to two Mexicans. The Mexicans fled. Pete stood still. The sailors beat him to the ground.
Scores of Mexican youths had been stripped of their pants (some of them on the stages of movie houses), beaten and then arrested by the Los Angeles police for “vagrancy” and “rioting.” (The police practice was to accompany the caravans in police cars, watch the beatings and then jail the victims. Their orders apparently were to let the Shore Patrol and the Military Police handle the rioting sailors. The service police were futile.)
From: Elliot Gorn, et al, Constructing the American Past: A Sourcebook of a People’s History (1970)