Residents of the Southside neighborhood of Rockwall, Tx., know there are drugs in their area, says the Dallas Morning News. But longtime residents of the historically black neighborhood say some officers have gone too far by bullying youths whom they wrongly suspect of selling or buying drugs. Residents have taken their concerns to the police chief and City Council. They complain that patrol officers frequently stop young men walking in the streets and sometimes search them without cause. Some young men have received tickets for jaywalking or walking on the wrong side of the road–a source of friction in a place with narrow streets and few sidewalks.
Police Chief Mark Moeller defended the heightened police presence and aggressive tactics, telling residents that crack cocaine sales have increased in the area. “That affects the quality of life,” Chief Moeller said. He argued that most of the drug sales occur on the streets, prompting officers to be more vigilant about pedestrians. John McGuire, whose grandson was cited for jaywalking, appreciates the efforts to clean up his neighborhood but said it’s “no drug-infested place.” He wants harassment he sees to stop. “They’re wasting their time and effort” picking on innocent young men, said McGuire, 59.