A lawsuit filed by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-ALC and the American Civil Liberties Union alleges Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue and California’s Siskiyou County discriminate against Hmong Americans and the larger Asian American community.
The Sacramento Bee reports the suit contends Asian Americans are harassed during traffic stops, wrongly accused of criminal activity and discriminated against in public meetings.
“If this can happen to Siskiyou County, this can happen to any county here in California, or it can happen to any other states within the United States,” said Siskiyou County resident Peter Thao to NBC Bay Area.
Residents have long accused the county of unfairly enforcing water restrictions on Asian Americans and stopping Asian Americans for traffic stops at a disproportionately higher rate.
There has also been controversy surrounding the deputy shooting death of a Hmong farmer, Soobleej Kaub Hawj. The District Attorney of Siskiyou County eventually cleared officers of wrongdoing in Hawj’s death, a decision questioned by Advancing Justice-ALC.
You can watch video of that shooting below.
“In service of this campaign, the defendants have used widespread racial profiling in traffic stops, restricted access to water making it difficult for Asian American residents to live, and placed unlawful liens to dispossess Asian Americans of their land,” the 52-page lawsuit claims, according to the Bee. “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.
Larue has not yet returned calls from the Bee or NBC Bay Area for comment.
According to NBC Bay Area, a surge of Asian Americans began moving into the county in 2016.
“As we got situated here, we bought property here, we felt like we got ourselves into a discomfort zone or environment,” Thao said.
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That’s hillbilly country up thar yonder there, boy. Whata y’all dinking coming up heré in our part of da woods…🤔