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Sheriff's Dept. Target of Racial Complaint

September 19, 1996|KATE FOLMAR

The family of a black Moorpark school board candidate filed a citizen's complaint Wednesday against the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, alleging excessive use of force and a pattern of racial harassment by deputies.

School board candidate Theodore Green, his wife, Jacqueline, and their son, Theodore III, filed the complaint after an incident at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the complaint, Theodore Green III, 20, was driving home from his job at a Hughes Market in Los Angeles when a sheriff's deputy followed him from the intersection of Collins and Benwood drives to his residence in the 15300 block of Benwood.

The younger Green contends that a deputy followed him into the garage, demanded that Green leave his car and pointed his gun at Green. Green said his car was searched.

Green was issued a traffic citation for failing to drive on the right side of the road.

The family contends that pulling a gun to issue a traffic citation was excessive and part of a greater pattern of abuse. "Officers have been stalking family members and abusing their authority and terrorizing our family" solely because of race, the complaint said.

Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Bill Edwards said his office has received the complaint and will investigate it over the next week or two.

"We normally don't comment on these things until we've had time to investigate them," Edwards said.

Theodore Green Sr., a senior auditor with the Internal Revenue Service, said he suspects his family is being harassed to keep him out of the school board race.

Previously, Green successfully worked with the NAACP to ban a book deemed offensive to blacks from Simi Valley classrooms. In 1986, after a racial epithet was scratched on another son's car during a football game, the senior Green accused the Moorpark Unified School District of failing to protect his son from acts of racism.

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