SURVEY: Black Residents in Orange County CA Feel Racially Profiled by Law Enforcement

A survey found black residents in Orange County, Calif., feel racially profiled by law enforcement, discriminated against in schools and others in the community. The Orange County Human Relations Commission held a series of public “listening sessions” across the county after a black family in Yorba Linda said they were forced to move from the community after enduring months of racial attacks and racially-charged vandalism.

The stories — collected in a document released Friday and that will be discussed at a public forum next week — include those of a woman who said a company chief executive seemed “shocked” when she complained about the Confederate flag outside his offices and the high school student whose classmates said they planned to dress up in KKK garb for Halloween and “lynch” black people.

And although African Americans make up only about 2% of Orange County’s population, officials with the human relations group — which has been tracking hate crime and discrimination in the county for more than 20 years — say black residents have been the most targeted in hate crimes.

The report, which is not a scientific poll and is based on first-hand accounts at the listening sessions, was designed to highlight festering feelings of alienation among African Americans, even as the county becomes more diverse.

Of the 144 people who participated, nearly 30% reported being racially profiled by police officers, and 21% of youth participants said they had experienced harassment or racial profiling. Source

Unfortunately, black residents in Orange County aren’t the only ones who have experienced racial profiling and harassment. While such behavior may not be prevalent, unfortunately there are pockets in the U.S. where it thrives.