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Black Family Says It Fled OC Racism

The reported harassment of a lawman's family demonstrates the need for more outreach, an Orange County commission says.

SAN CLEMENTE, CA -- The Orange County Human Relations Commission pledged new efforts to reach out to black people throughout the county following allegations of racism.

A family of four, led by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy and Inglewood police officer, said it moved out of Yorba Linda last month because of repeated acts of racism.

The father, an Inglewood policeman, requested anonymity for his family's safety before telling City News Service about encountering problems after the family moved to Yorba Linda in May 2011.

"A few months after we moved in, someone threw rocks through the front window of our home and punctured the tires on both of our vehicles,'' he said.

His adult son was the target of racial epithets while riding his bike to work at a Home Depot.

``People driving by would say, `Go home, n-----,'' the man said.

Carol Turpen, chairwoman of the Orange County Human Relations Commission, sent a letter to the family Tuesday saying her organization would do "special outreach to the African American community.''

"We plan to share your story with others in order to make the good people of Orange County understand that some people in our community are being harassed due to their race or other inherent aspect of their being and that we are not comfortable when this happens, nor will we avert our eyes to avoid hate in our community when we see it,'' Turpen wrote. “We are committed to wipe out hate within the OC.''

The Orange County Board of Supervisors has also been told about the family's experiences, Turpen added. And the commission will relay the family's story at an upcoming meeting of the Yorba Linda City Council, Turpen said.

No Evidence of Hate Crime

When Brea police, who also patrol Yorba Linda, responded to the family's first report of vandalism, officers said they could not label it a hate crime because there was no evidence it was racially motivated, the father said.

"I said, `OK, that's cool,' but could you step up some patrol in the area,'' he recalled.

In October, as the father was pulling his car into the driveway, someone shot or threw pellets of acid at the vehicle, he said.

``That really got me kind of messed up,'' he said. ``Either they had to be hiding in the bushes or one of my neighbors did it because we lived in a cul de sac.''

Again, Brea police told him they found no evidence of a hate crime, the man said.

He told officers it seemed unlikely someone with a grudge from his beat in Inglewood would follow him all the way home and vandalize his car.

``If they wanted to get me they'd do it while I was on duty,'' the man said.

Because he worked a night shift, he often worried about his family while on duty, he said. "I kept expecting to get a call,'' he said.

``What really got me was when my 6-year-old asked me, `Daddy, why does a guy at school say he can't play with me because I'm black?' '' the man said. But the principal of the boy's school satisfied the parents by pledging to use the incident to teach racial tolerance in the school, the man said.

In October, the family moved to Corona, which seemed much more welcoming, the man said. "We had five neighbors come over and welcome us to the neighborhood.''

The man said he didn't encounter any racial hostility when he lived in Anaheim or Brea.

OC Human Relations has done work in communities throughout the county, sometimes in the wake of gang violence, other times in neighborhoods identified as in-need by city governments or non-profits, as in the case of San Clemente in the wake of the District Attorney's gang injunction in areas of the town. OC Human Relations organizers were instrumental in

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS

Do you think this incident was an anomaly or symptomatic of a larger problem in Orange County?

Charli Eaton November 26, 2012 at 03:16 PM
@Pacific Coast Mama, Bless your heart...I am not suprised at the Patch because the First Amendment extends to all and the best antidote for hate speech is simply to voice our own opinion right back at them. Don't be discouraged. People like the ones who posted the ugliness on this thread are a dying breed, they truly are. It is people like you, myself, Frank, Trisha and others who are being uplifted and set on the mountain top. When I saw the results of this past election I wept with joy and relief because I KNEW for sure that a sleeping America was slowly stirring and awakening from a deep sleep. It is a new day and a good day so the death throes of the dying culture of dominance echo louder than ever in protest! When we hear them we must understand that it is only the sound of the echoing down the hall as they depart and, thank God, not the sound as they approach! Be blessed today and take comfort that you are a warrior and a champion who can stand tall and look down upon the bigot in his twisted agony.
Frank C. November 26, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Well said Charli! It's true, thank God, that these bigots and hate mongers are a minority. They seem more prevalent because of the vile things that they say that get good people like ourselves all stirred up and responding to their stupidity! One day they will be judged for their hate and lack of compassion for their fellow man, but it will be too late. God gave them a chance to prove themselves while on this earth. Bless you and all the others who defend goodness and kindness towards others.
rj November 28, 2012 at 06:13 AM
what does Marina Del Rey have to do with OC?
David & Rebecca Lara November 30, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Prosecution Of Hate Crimes Before Bullying can be stopped in our schools, it has to be stopped at our homes, streets, churches, office & communities. Orange County Sheriff Department Re Hate Crimes: "The Orange County Sheriff's Department believes that it is the right of every person regardless of race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, and physical harm caused by the activities of violent groups and individuals. "It shall be the philosophy of the Orange County Sheriff's Department that all reported cases of "hate crimes" will be fully investigated." "The California State Attorney General's Office on Civil Rights Enforcement Unit has established an Anti-Hate Violence Project. This unit is charged with instituting civil action in cases of hate violence which may not meet the burden of proof requirements necessary in a criminal case. Law enforcement agencies may forward cases to the Attorney General's Office that might be better handled through civil action or where the criminal investigation is complete and sufficient evidence for criminal prosecution is not available." For more information please call the Victim Violence Specialist at (714) 647-7498. Source: http://egov.ocgov.com/ocgov/Sheriff-Coroner%20-%20Sandra%20Hutchens/Information/Victim%20Referral%20Services/Hate%20Crimes
JG Norrin December 31, 2012 at 10:09 PM
This type of thing has nothing to do with color -- it's all about evil. It happens all over the world to all types of people in all different ways. It has been going on since the fall of mankind. It'll go on until the world ends. Some people are just evil and that's it. This should not be generalized to include the entire population where it occurs -- that too is evil.

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