Statham City Council heard complaints about its police department, about flooding in town and about its audit, but took no action on any of those at its meeting Tuesday night.
The town’s police department has been under fire for more than a year, mostly over officer Marc Lofton, who continues to be on restricted duty, according to Mayor Robert Bridges.
Kelly Pickens, one of the organizers of the group, which calls itself Concerned Citizens of Statham, called on council to ask the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate Lofton’s use of force.
She said he has had eight uses of force in 13 months, which she characterized as “incredibly, incredibly high.”
Lofton “does not know how to control a situation,” she said. “He’s dangerous.”
Pickens said the investigation should focus “most specifically with females, middle age and older.”
The officer “threatens to use force when there’s no use for it,” she insisted.
Another woman, Mary Williams, spoke at the end of the meeting and said she wants Lofton fired, not investigated.
“He threatened me,” she said.
“It was just because I couldn’t get my hands far enough behind my back.”
Two other people praised the police department and the city’s leaders. Duke Dufresne and Jim White were complimentary.
Dufresne said the city has had good leadership in his 40 years as a resident, “none better than how it is being managed at this time.”
He singled out Bridges and Johnston for “effectively and efficiently” doing their jobs as mayor and police chief.
See the full story in the April 19 issue of the Barrow News-Journal.