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

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Flooding still a concern on Snohomish River

Flood warning in effect until Monday afternoon for Monroe and Tuesday morning for Snohomish.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Expect river levels to keep rising, though sun is on the way

Some could crest above minor and moderate flood levels.

Herald photos of the week

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

Most Read