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African-American Campaign Volunteers Claim Racial Profiling During East Bay Canvassing

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Christin-Ayers_BIO-HEAD Christin Ayers
Christin Ayers is a general assignment reporter for KPIX 5 Eyewitness...
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PIEDMONT (CBS SF) — Some African-American campaign workers going door-to-door in the East Bay may be victims of racial profiling.

With just hours until Election Day, State Assembly candidate Clarence Hunt hit the streets with volunteers Monday.

After hours of passing out leaflets in Piedmont, Hunt and a volunteer say they were repeatedly harassed, and at one point allegedly called the N-word by two residents.

“I was just walking up to one of the doors, and the guy said he doesn’t want any n—–s putting anything on his porch. I left. The guy next door came over and said, You n—–s shouldn’t be putting anything on my porch,” volunteer Minnie Hudson told KPIX 5.

Volunteers said the harassment didn’t stop with the neighbors.

“All of a sudden, one police car showed up, then another one, then another one asked me what I was doing,” volunteer Ken Boutte said.

Piedmont’s police chief told KPIX 5 that this was not a case of racial profiling, and that the community and the police were simply being vigilant because of a rash of burglaries in the area.

Hunt however says it’s become a disheartening pattern, because the same thing happened last week in El Cerrito, when some of his student volunteers were stopped by police, who incorrectly told them they needed a permit to pass out flyers.

El Cerrito police sent KPIX 5 a statement on the incident, noting that officers contacted the subjects, and learned they were going door to door in support of a political cause, and that a permit is not required for that activity.

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