KING CITY, Calif. (AP) — Residents of a California farming town were grappling Wednesday with the feeling that their trust has been violated after learning the acting police chief and a handful of officers were charged with crimes including selling or giving away the impounded cars of poor Hispanic residents.
The misgivings had been building for some time. Investigators heard people — many unable to speak English — complain that police were taking their cars and money, and there was nothing they could do about it.
"I'm not at all surprised by the arrests, I'm just surprised there weren't more charges," restaurateur Vivian Villa said Wednesday in Spanish while sizzling a pan of beef in preparation for the lunch rush. "Now maybe some of them are going to feel what we feel when they target us."
Later in the day, Villa held a meeting in her little restaurant where about a dozen community members spoke out against police abuse and corruption.