Asian American residents sue Calif. county, claiming targeted harassment campaign by officials
Asian American residents in Northern California say their county and Sheriff’s Department are engaged in a racist campaign to root them out, according to a new
Asian American residents in Northern California say their county and Sheriff’s Department are engaged in a racist campaign to root them out, according to a new lawsuit.
The class action suit, filed in federal court on Wednesday, names both Siskiyou County and Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue as defendants, and it claims that both parties are engaged in large-scale harassment against Hmong residents.
“This targeting is designed to drive a disfavored racial minority from the County and has its roots in anti-Asian racism in Siskiyou dating back to the 1800s,” reads the suit, put forward by the American Civil Liberties Union and Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
According to residents, this discrimination has taken the form of routine traffic stops, restricted access to water and liens designed to push Asians off their land. Policies enforced by the county have disproportionately impacted Hmong marijuana farmers, whose neighborhoods have been singled out, the complaint also said.
Though Asians make up only 2.4% of the county’s adult population, they accounted for over 28% of Sheriff’s Department traffic stops in 2021, the suit notes. The county population is close to 45,000, of which approximately 85% is white.