Investigators confiscated dozens of drug paraphernalia items from a West Jackson convenience store Sunday, after concerned citizens reported it to police.
"I'm upset and we ain't gonna tolerate this anymore," said Stanley Wesley, president of the group Respect Our Black Dollars.
Wesley, and his group, protest often on the streets of Jackson when they find business owners doing things they think are immoral.
Protesters concentrated their efforts outside the Midwest Gas Station on Highway 80 on Sunday, as Jackson police officers seized crack pipes and bongs from the store.
"There's numerous types of stations in the Jackson area that sell this kind of garbage to our community," Wesley said.
The paraphernalia itself isn't necessarily illegal, though.
Jackson ordinances require store owners to keep "tobacco paraphernalia" away from minors, typically in a separate area of the store.
Ward 4 Councilman De'Keither Stamps said the store violated the ordinance because the merchandise was placed where anybody could see or buy it.
"Many people didn't know they were selling these materials," Stamps said. "Your young people could come and get it, and even young folks from other cities could drive in to pick this material up right here. It's an 'everybody' issue. It's not just a Jackson issue."
The employee behind the counter told 3 On Your Side he lives in the same community and tried to open his business to help others.
If the protesters want him to close his doors, he said they'll have to pay him a six-figure sum.
Wesley and his group aren't budging, though.
"We're tired of these thugs coming inside our community thinking they can sell and do whatever they want without repercussions," Wesley said.
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