Sleepy Lagoon was a water reservoir in East Los Angeles, and it was there that a young boy named Jose Diaz on August 2, 1942, fell asleep on the road after getting drunk. He was either run over accidentally. or as the police believed, killed in a turf war between two rival gangs.
There followed a round-up and arrest of 300 Chicano youths; 12 were convicted of murder and 5 were convicted of assault. All of the verdicts were overturned on appeal.The treatment of Mexican Americans in this case remained a black eye for law enforcement, the media, and the city for many years.
Endore, S. Guy. The Sleepy Lagoon Mystery. San Francisco: A
and E Research Associates, 1972.
Doheny Book Stacks; Law KF224S53.E5A72
Greenfield, Alice. The Sleepy Lagoon Case: A Pageant of
Prejudice. Los Angeles: Citizen's Committee for the Defense of
Mexican-American Youth, 1942.
McWilliams, Carey, "Second Thoughts," The Nation 228(April 7, 1979), 358.
Servin, Manuel. The Mexican-Americans: An Awakening
Minority. Beverly Hills: Glencoe, 1970.
Doheny Book Stacks; Leavey; Social Work E184.M5S4