Some residents of a northeast Omaha neighborhood are hopping mad after police showed up with workers from the Public Works Department to remove basketball hoops from city streets.
Kids have been playing street ball for years and now some neighbors are worried that the city will crack down on the activity.
For a lot of children in the eastern part of town, playgrounds include streets.
Ellisha Gilmore is a concerned parent who said, “I just can’t believe they came out and took them with no warning, nothing to be said. When you ask, they just say it’s illegal to play sports in the street.”
Basketball hoops are everywhere in the eastern part of town. Many of the younger children learn to play there under the watchful eyes of parents.
Gilmore said, “It’s easier for us parents to keep an eye on our younger children. You got the older kids around the schools that are here to play basketball. They're too rough. You got guns, fighting, a shooting that just happened down here a week ago.”
Playing ball in city streets is against the law but police say that’s not something they aggressively enforce. When they do, it’s usually in response to someone’s complaint.
Some parents say the law needs to be changed.
Kati Patterson said, “They're staying out of trouble and they're at their homes with their parent. I mean as long they are, as they are staying out of the streets when cars are coming through, then I don’t see it as being a problem.”
Police say they do have better things to do than go around tearing down hoops. If you have one in your neighborhood it might be a good thing to make sure that everyone is on the same team.