March 29. 1947
In coordinated raids on five South Los Angeles nightclubs tonight, police officers held hundreds of patrons while taking down names and addresses. There were 12 felony arrests and 30 for misdemeanor offences.
Assistant Chief of Police Joseph Reed, director of the operation, told reporters “This is the first in a new attempt to break up the breeding places of crime. The results show that it will be worthwhile for us to continue the raids.”
The area’s nightclubs gained some notoriety earlier this month, when conductor Otto Klemperer met two Negroes in a jazz club and accepted their offer of a personal tour of the Central Avenue music scene. His adventure ended when the men slugged him, stole his wallet and threw him out of their car at 48th Street and Compton Avenue.
The first club to be raided was the Casa Blanca (2801 S. San Pedro St.), one of the spots on Klemperer’s pre-assault itinerary. At the Casa Blanca, reputed owner Stanley W. Morgan (33, 4300 S. Main Street) was taken into custody after police found marihuana in a room to which he had a key. When the Cafe Society (2711 S. San Pedro St.) was rousted, an enraged patron threw a glass at police and photographers. The largest crowd was held by police here, as they checked more than 200 IDs to determine if any minors were in attendance. Other clubs raided include Club Joy (4505 S. Avalon Blvd.), Cafe Zombie (5434 S. Central Ave.) and Lovejoy’s (4416 3/4 South Central Ave.).
Among those arrested were Eugene Burnett (21, 105 S. San Pedro St.); Joseph Adolphus Lewis (36, 1335 E. Adams Blvd.) and Mrs. Sandra M. Langston (19, 1735 E. Gage Ave.). Burnett was held on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon for the shooting of officers Dean Bergman and Roy Phelps on March 17. Lewis and Langston were booked on narcotics offenses, musician Lewis after police found marihuana in his guitar case.