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

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Marysville hit-and-run leaves man with broken bones

The state patrol has asked for help solving an increasing number of hit-and-run cases in the state.

Everett man killed at bar had criminal history, gang ties

A bar employee reportedly shot Matalepuna Malu, 29, whose street name was “June Bug.”

There’s plenty to cheer in overdue capital budget

In Snohomish County, there’s money for a number of projects.

Parking a constant problem at Wallace Falls State Park

There’s a study under way on how to tackle that issue and others.

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

Most Read