Attorney Timothy Garrigan filed a federal lawsuit last July on behalf of ten plaintiffs who charge that officials in Tenaha, Texas, unlawfully stopped African-Americans from driving through their town and threatened them with criminal prosecution in exchange for a pay off. Two people claim they gave more than $50,000 under threatening conditions, according to The suit names Tenaha’s mayor, deputy city marshal, plus several officials from nearby Shelby, Texas. City officials, however, feel that they have operated within the law by protecting their town from potential drug traffickers.—WLW