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Yorba Linda mayor regrets attacks on black family

November 21, 2012 |  4:55 pm

Photo: Yorba Linda Mayor Mark Schwing. Credit: Los Angeles Times The mayor of Yorba Linda on Wednesday decried the treatment of an African American family that fled the upscale community after rocks were tossed through their windows, their car tires were slashed, and their children were taunted because they were black.

“The City of Yorba Linda deeply regrets that such an unfortunate incident would ever occur within our community and we do not condone any such acts,” said Yorba Linda Mayor Mark Schwing in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

The mayor said the incident is “by no means indicative of the feelings or actions of our residents and community leaders.”

The family of four -- a pair of law enforcement officers and their two sons -- left the city of about 65,000  several weeks ago, saying they were fed up with the racially tinged incidents.

Sgt. Jim Griffin with the Brea Police Department, which patrols nearby Yorba Linda, said the family filed two reports that officers classified as vandalism  -- not hate crimes -- in May 2011 and October 2012.

He said police provided extra patrols in the neighborhood in May, but ultimately did not classify the incidents as hate crimes because police found no evidence that they were racially motivated.

Griffin said that according to statistics reported yearly to the federal Department of Justice, Yorba Linda has had three hate crimes – one a year – since 2010.

In October 2012, police responded to vandalism at a Methodist church where “hail Satan” and “God is dead” was painted in white paint on the church.

“That elevated it to a hate crime,” Griffin said.

The city urged the public to call Brea police Det. John Hoetker at 714-990-7618 with any information.

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-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Yorba Linda Mayor Mark Schwing. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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