Neighbors near Mitchell Park in Bossier City say they are trying to do a good deed for their community, but the Bossier City Police Department says they are breaking some rules.
Every Sunday for the past two months, a group of neighbors around Mitchell Park has been pooling their money to buy food and entertainment for neighborhood kids. "We just come out here for the kids, we feed them, we play kickball, got basketball games going, got snow cones and they just can't shut it down. There hasn't been any fight, no shooting, none of that," Courtney Timmons says. On Sunday, the Bossier City Police Department posted a new sign at the park saying that it is now closed on Sundays.
"We received complaints from several residents about driveways being blocked and traffic being hampered due to the amount of vehicles that were parked on the street, parked on the sidewalk, and blocking driveways," Mark Natale, with Bossier City Police Department, says. The neighbors say they are just trying to help their local kids and want to keep the events going. "Some of the kids, this may be their first, last, and only meal. I mean we have kids that come up and ask: ‘can you fix us plates to take home?'" Latarsha Smith says.
Police say they received a YouTube video showing evidence that people at the park were drinking alcohol. That is illegal in Bossier City parks. "The bottom line is that the police department found evident that it may not been good for children. This may be caused by another group showing up there at the event," Natale says.
The neighborhood group says the people drinking were not a part of their event. "If anyone had any kind of alcoholic beverage, they brought it on their own. We just supply everything for the kids," Raymond Jackson says.
The neighbors who finance the Sunday events plan on attending Tuesday's city council meeting to try and come to an agreement with the city. The city says they plan on opening the park back up, but not for large events.