HESPERIA, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the California city of Hesperia, alleging it discriminated against black and Latino renters.
The lawsuit announced Monday takes aim at a city ordinance that required landlords to evict tenants who had allegedly committed crimes. The law was later revised to make the program voluntary.
The suit, which also names the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, alleged that entire families, including children, were evicted for alleged criminal conduct involving one tenant or even non-tenants, and even included family members who had reported domestic violence to police.
The suit alleges the law was intended to drive minorities out of the city and violates the federal Fair Housing Act.
Officials with the city and Sheriff’s Department didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment.