Sunday 18 February 2018

Welcome to the US town that sacked its police

Guy Adams

WHEN two uniformed police officers approached Hector Hernandez as he arrived at the City of Maywood's official Fourth of July celebrations, he feared the worst. The stocky 22-year-old -- whose neck tattoo of a Playboy bunny indicates membership of one of the area's notorious Latino street gangs -- hasn't exactly relished his previous interactions with the local forces of law and order.

Imagine Hector's surprise when the uniformed men held out an outstretched hand, smiled and asked how he was doing.

"They said they were new to the neighbourhood, so wanted to say hello and welcome me to the event. I think they even told me to have a nice day," he recalls. "I was like, 'You guys don't normally speak to me unless you're kneeling on my back.' I thought it was some kind of a sting."

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