Black family flees after slashed tires, racial taunts

LOS ANGELES — An African American police officer and his family said they fled their upscale Orange County, Calif., community after rocks were thrown through their windows, their tires were slashed and racial taunts were shouted by passing motorists. Last month, someone shot corrosive acid pellets into his garage, which damaged his car.

The family, who asked that they not be identified out of fear for their safety, said they packed up and moved from Yorba Linda to Corona, Calif., and reported the alleged hate crimes to the Orange County Human Relations Commission.

Though African Americans account for a small fraction of Orange County’s population – no more than 2 percent – they are the most frequently targeted group for hate crimes, said Rusty Kennedy, the executive director of the commission.

“It just illustrates that even amid our really wonderful community, life is different for some people,” said Rusty Kennedy, the executive director of the commission.

The father is a police officer in Inglewood. His wife is a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. They and their two children moved to Yorba Linda in 2011.

In Yorba Linda, a city of 65,000, African Americans make up a scant 1 percent of the population, according to census statistics. The city’s mayor, Mark Schwing, did not return a request for comment. Neither did the city’s Police Department.

The commission wrote to the family – addressed in the letter simply as “Former Yorba Linda Family” — to denounce the hostility and ugliness they had faced.

“As much as some are tired of hearing about discrimination and bigotry and would like to declare this a post-racial society, our commission finds that the facts don’t support that conclusion,” wrote Carol Turpen, the chair of the commission.

She ended the letter with a pledge: “We are committed to wipe out hate within the O.C.”

After the family talked about the incident, the college-age son said that when he rode his bike to his job at a nearby Home Depot, he was taunted with racial epithets by passing motorists and told to go back home.

“We wanted people to know that it’s not peachy keen in Yorba Linda when it comes to racism,” the father said.

More in Local News

Local police join thousands honoring slain Canadian officer

Abbotsford Const. John Davidson was killed Nov. 6 in a shootout with a suspected car thief.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

No easy exit from Smokey Point shopping complex

There’s just no easy exit on this one. A reader called in… Continue reading

Lynnwood, Marysville, Sultan consider ban on safe injection sites

If approved, they would join Lake Stevens and Snohomish County, which have temporary bans.

City Council OKs initial funding for Smith Avenue parking lot

The site of the former Smith Street Mill is being developed in anticipation of light rail.

Single fingerprint on robbery note leads to arrest

The holdup occurred at a U.S. Bank branch in Lynnwood in June.

Two windsurfers rescued from Port Susan near Kayak Point

The men had failed to return to shore during Sunday’s windstorm.

Yes to turn signal — eventually

Adding a right-turn signal at 112th St. and 7th Ave. is turning out to be a bit more complicated.

Mill Creek councilman no longer lives in city, panel finds

The Canvassing Board determined Sean Kelly is not eligible to vote there.

Most Read