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Complicating the investigations and the violent atmosphere, Maywood recently laid off almost its entire city staff and is run by an interim city manager who resigned from her job as assistant city manager in Bell as a result of the salary scandal. The public outcry led to a security presence outside the homes of several Bell officials, and the protests brought out community members from all walks of life.

Linda Guevara, a former City Council member in nearby Huntington Park, said that at one rally she observed three young men in white T-shirts holding a well-made sign saying, “We Support Our City Council.” When she approached and asked the young men to explain their support for the Bell council, she said, one of them replied: “Have you ever heard of 18th Street?”