African-American residents in the mostly White California Bay Area community of Antioch say that a special police unit – which was initiated to deal with complaints about Blacks from White residents – is trying to run them off.
Two years ago, as more and more Black residents flowed into the community of about 100,000 people, complaints from White neighbors rose. The special crime-fighting unit began to crack down on tenants in the mostly Black housing units. Now, that police unit is the focus of a new lawsuit by Black residents.
"A lot of people are moving out here looking for a better place to live," Karen Coleman, a mother of three, who has been in Antioch for five years, told The Associated Press. "We are trying to raise our kids like everyone else. But they don't want us here."
Larry Bush, a spokesman for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that while Black-White friction is prevalent in other cities throughout the United States, in Antioch it is "hotter than elsewhere."
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, The Associated Press reports.