More Racial issues in California

Reply Tue 30 Dec, 2008 07:02 pm
AP story about issues in a Northern California Bay Area town - Antioch -involving an influx of black residents from other communities.

Longtime Antioch residents, including black residents, blame the new residents for all kinds of crime problems. According to the article, most of the issues surround public housing complexes. Now, some of the new residents are suing the city and the cops for harrassment.


Influx of black renters raises tension in Bay Area

Dec 30, 3:24 PM (ET)


(ANTIOCH, Calif. (AP) - As more and more black renters began moving into this mostly white San Francisco Bay Area suburb a few years ago, neighbors started complaining about loud parties, mean pit bulls, blaring car radios, prostitution, drug dealing and muggings of schoolchildren.

In 2006, as the influx reached its peak, the police department formed a special crime-fighting unit to deal with the complaints, and authorities began cracking down on tenants in federally subsidized housing.

Now that police unit is the focus of lawsuits by black families who allege the city of 100,000 is orchestrating a campaign to drive them out.

"A lot of people are moving out here looking for a better place to live," said Karen Coleman, a mother of three who came here five years ago from a blighted neighborhood in nearby Pittsburg. "We are trying to raise our kids like everyone else. But they don't want us here."

City officials deny the allegations in the lawsuits, which were filed last spring and seek unspecified damages.

Across the country, similar tensions have simmered when federally subsidized renters escaped run-down housing projects and violent neighborhoods by moving to nicer communities in suburban Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles.

But the friction in Antioch is "hotter than elsewhere," said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development spokesman Larry Bush.

An increasing number of poor families receiving federal rental assistance have been moving here in recent years, partly because of the housing crisis.

A growing number of landlords were seeking a guaranteed source of revenue in a city hard-hit by foreclosures. They began offering their Antioch homes to low-income tenants in the HUD Section 8 housing program, which pays about two-thirds of every tenant's rent.

Between 2000 and 2007, Antioch's black population nearly doubled from 8,824 to 16,316. And the number of Antioch renters receiving federal subsidies climbed almost 50 percent between 2003 and 2007 to 1,582, the majority of them black.

Longtime homeowners complained that the new arrivals brought crime and other troubles. In 2006, violent crime in Antioch shot up about 19 percent from the year before, while property crime went down slightly.

"In some neighborhoods, it was complete madness," said longtime resident David Gilbert, a black retiree who organized the United Citizens of Better Neighborhoods watch group. "They were under siege."

So the Antioch police in mid-2006 created the Community Action Team, which focused on complaints of trouble at low-income renters' homes.

Police sent 315 complaints about subsidized tenants to the Contra Costa Housing Authority, which manages the federal program in the city, and urged the agency to evict many of them for lease violations such as drug use or gun possession. Lawyers for the tenants said 70 percent of the eviction recommendations were aimed at black renters. The housing authority turned down most of the requests.

Coleman said the police, after a complaint from a neighbor, showed up at her house one morning in 2007 to check on her husband, who was on parole for drunken driving. She said they searched the house and returned twice more that summer to try to find out whether the couple had violated any terms of their lease that could lead to eviction.

The Colemans were also slapped with a restraining order after a neighbor accused them of "continually harassing and threatening their family," according to court papers. The Colemans said a judge later rescinded the order.

Coleman and four other families are suing Antioch, accusing police of engaging in racial discrimination and conducting illegal searches without warrants. They have asked a federal judge to make their suit a class-action on behalf of hundreds of other black renters. Another family has filed a lawsuit accusing the city's leaders of waging a campaign of harassment to drive them out.

Police referred questions to the city attorney's office.

City Attorney Lynn Tracy Nerland denied any discrimination on the part of police and said officers were responding to crime reports in troubled neighborhoods when they discovered that a large number of the troublemakers were receiving federal subsidies.

"They are responding to real problems," Nerland said.

Joseph Villarreal, the housing authority chief, said the problems in Antioch mirror tensions seen nationally when poor renters move into neighborhoods they can afford only with government help.

"One of the goals of the programs is to de-concentrate poverty," Villarreal said. "There are just some people who don't want to spend public money that way."

Tensions like those afflicting Antioch have drawn scholars and law enforcement officials to debate whether crime follows subsidized renters out of the tenements to the suburbs.

Susan Popkin, a researcher at the nonprofit Urban Institute, said she does not believe that is the case. But the tensions, she said, are real.

"That can be a recipe for anxiety," she said. "It can really change the demographics of a neighborhood."

Source: http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081230/D95D896O0.html

The state of California, and especially in the Bay Area, is ruled by the dem party. No diversity of ideas here; this is the left wing of the dems at their finest.

Interesting to see Vallejo, a city near Antoch, recently went bankrupt. Bay Area is beginning to resemble, more and more, those broken rust belt cities that are also ruled by the dems in the midwest and on the East Coast.

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Reply Tue 30 Dec, 2008 07:06 pm
@A Lone Voice,
A Lone Voice wrote:
The state of California, and especially in the Bay Area, is ruled by the dem party.

has anybody told Arnold yet
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Reply Tue 30 Dec, 2008 10:16 pm
Around 20% of any population blame all their problems on foreigners: their is know logical reason why they should do this: it is a fact.
This is their problem,it only causes problems when the government joins in with their insanity.
0 Replies
Pamela Rosa
Reply Thu 1 Jan, 2009 03:52 am
@A Lone Voice,
"A lot of people are moving out here looking for a better place to live," said Karen Coleman, a mother of three who came here five years ago from a blighted neighborhood in nearby Pittsburg. "We are trying to raise our kids like everyone else. But they don't want us here."


Welfa Mommy, Parole and her tree chilen went to Antioch, and their own brudas and sistas don't want now to live near them.

comments here:

more about Antioch:
As Program Moves Poor to Suburbs, Tensions Follow
Published: August 8, 2008
ANTIOCH, Calif. " From the tough streets of Oakland, where so many of Alice Payne’s relatives and friends had been shot to death, the newspaper advertisement for a federally assisted rental property in this Northern California suburb was like a bridge across the River Jordan.

Ms. Payne, a 42-year-old African-American mother of five, moved to Antioch in 2006. With the local real estate market slowing and a housing voucher covering two-thirds of the rent, she found she could afford a large, new home, with a pool, for $2,200 a month.

But old problems persisted. When her estranged husband was arrested, the local housing authority tried to cut off her subsidy, citing disturbances at her house. Then the police threatened to prosecute her landlord for any criminal activity or public nuisances caused by the family. The landlord forced the Paynes to leave when their lease was up.

Under the Section 8 federal housing voucher program, thousands of poor, urban and often African-American residents have left hardscrabble neighborhoods in the nation’s largest cities and resettled in the suburbs.

Law enforcement experts and housing researchers argue that rising crime rates follow Section 8 recipients to their new homes, while other experts discount any direct link. But there is little doubt that cultural shock waves have followed the migration. Social and racial tensions between newcomers and their neighbors have increased, forcing suburban communities like Antioch to re-evaluate their civic identities along with their methods of dealing with the new residents.

The foreclosure crisis gnawing away at overbuilt suburbs has accelerated that migration, and the problems. Antioch is one of many suburbs in the midst of a full-blown mortgage meltdown that has seen property owners seeking out low-income renters to fill vacant homes. The most recent Contra Costa County records available show that from 2003 to 2005, the number of Section 8 households in Antioch grew by 50 percent, to about 1,500 from 1,000. Many new residents are African-American; Antioch’s black population has grown to about 20 percent, from 3 percent in 1990.

Federally assisted tenants in Antioch brought a class action lawsuit against the police department last month, claiming racial discrimination, intimidation and illegal property searches. The lawsuit, which was filed in the Northern District of California, claims that the police routinely questioned Section 8 residents about their housing status and wrote letters to the county’s housing authority recommending termination of subsidies. They say the police also threatened Section 8 landlords for infractions by tenants. A December 2007 study of Antioch police records by Public Advocates, a law firm in San Francisco, counted 67 investigations of black households, compared with 59 of white families; black households, it found, are four times as likely to be searched based on noncriminal complaints and to be contacted by the police in the first place.

Chief James Hyde of the Antioch Police Department denied that his officers routinely asked whether tenants were Section 8 recipients and said that the police department did not have information about which homes were on federal assistance. But Chief Hyde also said that the local housing authority was not meeting its obligation to screen tenants properly, and that as his department focused on nuisance issues, the police had become a de facto enforcement arm of the federal government.

“Other cities have come asking us for guidance,” Chief Hyde said.

The Section 8 program is designed to encourage low-income tenants to settle in middle-income areas by subsidizing 60 percent of their rent. The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development issued 50,000 more vouchers for suburban relocations in 2007 than in 2005, bringing the total number of renter families to 2.1 million.

Federal officials and housing experts say that the increase in vouchers was offset by people being forced out of federal housing projects that closed and by renters moving into foreclosed properties. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a nonprofit advocacy and research group, 30 percent to 40 percent of residents in foreclosed properties were renters, many of whom have since sought federal assistance.

Linda Couch, the coalition’s deputy director, said families often waited a decade or more for housing vouchers
Demand for subsidized suburban housing, meanwhile, is outstripping supply. In Salinas, Calif., applicants circled an entire block around a housing authority office earlier this month. Mobile, Ala., has 3,400 Section 8 families, and 2,000 more awaiting homes.
the rent.

As Antioch’s population grew to 101,000 in 2005, from 73,386 in 1995, the city built about 4,000 housing units in the early years of this decade.

Now it has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the state, with about 23 of every 1,000 homeowners losing their homes as of June, according to DataQuick, a real estate information clearinghouse.

While total crime in Antioch declined by 15 percent in the first three months of this year, compared to the same period in 2007, violent crime increased by about 16 percent, according to city statistics. Robberies and assaults accounted for most of that rise.

In an incident report filed with the Antioch Police Department, Natalie and Darin Rouse complained of constant problems with gang members’ blaring car stereos and under-age drinking on the street. In a written account, they blamed “gross community overdevelopment, affirmative action loopholes and incompetent state government management of federal affordable housing programs” for the problems.

Several white women, all professionals who attend the same church and have lived in Antioch for 12 years or more, recently sat outside a Starbucks coffee shop and discussed how their declining home equity had trapped them in a city they no longer recognize.

“My father got held up at gunpoint while he was renting a car to a young African-American man,” said Rebecca Gustafson, 35, who owns a graphics and Web design company with her husband. Ms. Gustafson said her car had also been broken into three times before being stolen from her driveway.

Laura Reynolds, 36, an emergency room nurse, said that she often came home to her Country Hills development tract after working a late-shift to find young black teenagers strolling through her neighborhood.

“I know it sounds horrible, but they’re scary. I’m sorry,” said Ms. Reynolds, who like her two friends said she was conflicted about her newfound fear of black youths. “Sometimes I question myself, and I think, Would I feel this way if they were Mexican or white?”

Housing advocates argue that the impact of Section 8 in Antioch and other communities is exaggerated and that Section 8 houses make up only a small amount of the real estate market. Section 8 homes rarely exceed more than 2 percent of available housing in any metropolitan area; in Antioch the average is 8 percent, according to housing officials.

Brad Seligman, a lawyer with the Impact Fund, a nonprofit civil rights advocacy group based in San Francisco that is representing Section 8 tenants in Antioch, along with groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and Public Advocates, accused the city’s police department of racially profiling black subsidized tenants. The N.A.A.C.P. has made similar accusations.

“Instead of driving while black, it’s renting while black,” Mr. Seligman said.

Thomas and Karen Coleman and their three children were the only black family on their street when they moved to Antioch in 2003 with a housing voucher.

In June 2007, a neighbor told the police that Mr. Coleman had threatened him. Officers from the police community action team visited the house and demanded to be allowed in.

“I cracked the door open, but they pushed me out of the way,” Ms. Coleman said.

The officers searched the house even though they did not have a warrant, said the Colemans, who are now part of the class-action suit against the department. The police questioned Mr. Coleman, a parolee at the time, about his living arrangement. He explained that he and his wife were separated but in the process of reconciling. The police accused the family of violating a Section 8 rule that only listed tenants can live in a subsidized home.

After the raid, officers made repeated visits to the Coleman home and to Mr. Coleman’s job at a movie theater. They also sent a letter to the county housing department recommending that the Colemans be removed from federal housing assistance, a recommendation the authority rejected.

“They kept harassing me until I was off parole,” Mr. Coleman said.

Alice Payne

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Reply Fri 15 Jul, 2011 12:30 pm
Off-duty Afro-American San Francisco P.D Inspector Richardson wins Civil Rights Lawsuit angainst Antioch PoliceDepartment in California and found to be "Factually Innocent" in court!

Ex-S.F.P.D Marvetia Lynn Richardson wins Federal Civil Rights lawsuit against Antioch Police Department (California) in Dec 2010. Antioch P.D settled for approxiamately $800,000 but denies any wrong doing and suggested the case settled to avoid additional Attorney fees.

The Richardson case highlights and strongly suggests racial tension and discrimination within certain neighborhoods in Antioch California.
Richardson who is Afro-American was "not" on Section 8 and "not" a low income resident.

On July 12, 2011 Richardson hit Antioch P.D with another hard blow and "Victory". Contra Costa Court Judge Trevor White ruled that Richardson was criminally "Factually Innocent" and her arrest record will be expunged. Judge Trevor White said the Antioch Police were not acting in a legal manner when they forcibly entered Richardson house without a warrant,tasered Richardson and arrested her for "Resisting Arrest" violation 148 A of the Penal Code.
Interestingly, Richardsons arrest incident was "audio-tape". The Federal Court Judge and the Contra Costa Judge reviewed the contents on this "audio-tape" which did not match-up with the information which Antioch Police Officer Santiago E. Martinez Jr. (now terminated) put on the police report. Martinez stated that Richarson was uncooperative and "combative".
However, the "audio-tape" reflected that Richardson was calm while answering the Officers questions, and there were no sounds of any type of a struggle on the audio-tape whatsoever!
So it appears that this case did not settle out of court to avoid addtional Attorney fees like Antioch City Attorney Lynn Nerland suggeted but, did so to attempted to hide that some of Antioch Police Officers are making "Ficticious" Police Reports and engaging in racial discrimination . However this time, Antioch P.D was caught by direct evidence the "audiotape".
So judge for yourself. This case is very, very interesting but yet troubling. Im hoping this particular case will be ultilized to train Police officers and Law students accross the United States of America.

Richardson Northern California United States Distict Court ruling can be found on the Federal Court's Pacer system dated July 3, 2010 No C 08-03470 JSW.
The Official citation for Ferderal Jeffery Whites ruling is: Marvetia Lynn Richardson v. City of Antioch, 722 F.Supp.2d 1133 (N.D. Cal 2010).This cases is now "CASELAW" and can be found in "Westlaw".
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