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City Manager Michael Powers said all but Mottu had been placed on paid leave during the investigation prior to their arrests, and that he hopes to announce a new, interim police chief on Thursday.

Fixing King City’s sense of well-being is a bigger challenge.

“Obviously no one should be targeted because of race, but recent immigrants are at something of a disadvantage,” Powers said. “They already fear the police. It makes them easy prey.”

Powers said a community meeting would be held in two weeks to try to resolve concerns of angry citizens and those worried about the depleted police force, where 10 of the 17 sworn positions were held by Latinos.

State Sen. Bill Monning, whose district includes King City, said he was “incensed and outraged,” and thanked the FBI and local authorities for their ongoing pressure.

“While I hope this is an isolated incident, I fear it is not,” he said. “There continues to be situations throughout the state where the immigrant workforce is subjugated to tyranny of those abusing their authority.”

County Supervisor Simon Salinas said it’s going to take community oriented policing to get the town to trust authorities again.

“It’s certainly going to be a black eye for King City,” Salinas said.

Complaints of misconduct have been raised during the past few years in this historic, agricultural city where John Steinbeck’s father settled in 1890s and met his wife. With wide streets, historic buildings and old oaks, parts of the city haven’t changed much since Steinbeck wrote of King City in parts of Mice and Men and To a God Unknown.

But some said they are now afraid in the city.

“I’m not sure who is taking care of the town,” said San Lorenzo Liquors store owner Myukng Hong who reopened Wednesday after closing early the night before after learning of the arrests.

At Leyva’s Tow Yard, which police often bypassed with impounded cars, George Oliveros said many people in the community were aware of the investigation for months.

“In King City, a lot of people really try to stay away from the police,” he said. “Cops aren’t really helping the people, they focus on helping themselves.”

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Associated Press writers Sudhin Thanawala, Paul Elias, Garance Burke and Channing Joseph in San Francisco also contributed to this story.