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Ft. Gaines Town Hall Meeting Unsuccessful?


People in Fort Gaines, Georgia had the opportunity to voice their concerns in a town hall meeting in the Clay County Elementary School gym with the local police department. The goal was to open communication between law enforcement and residents. But unfortunately some people say that didn't happen tonight. Residents say there was some miscommunication and much didn't get accomplished.

Vetty Jackson, a Fort Gaines resident left Monday night's town hall meeting very upset.

"No they didn't answer my questions,..I just wanted that question answered, I wanted to know why they tazed him so many times, had him in shackles, had him on the ground stomping him and kicking him," said Gaines.

Jackson is referring to her nephew Don Bolden's arrest. He's accused of breaking into a church. His family said he had multiple seizures during his arrest and had to enter the hospital. Now the family is outraged and they want justice. Fort Gaines police chief Sam Starling along with the Clay County sheriff planned a question and answer session for the public. They addressed proper arrest procedures first and then opened the floor for questions but the meeting went downwards.

"It kind of went away from what I wanted it to be," said Starling.

Most of the questions asked were about Don Bolden but that's not why Chief Starling held this meeting, The Georgia Bureau of Investigations is handling the case instead of the Fort Gaines police department.

"Sometimes it can get a little bit out of hand; people can come at you with the wrong kind of questions, trying to have court in a Q and A meeting when it's not about that. It's not about one topic but about the community as a whole,” said Starling

This caused lots of confusion and as of now there is still tension between Fort Gaines police and some of the residents they protect and serve. Chief Starling says he plans to have another town hall meeting in the near future. Hopefully that one will be much more productive. Don Bolden is currently being held in the Miller County Jail on felony and misdemeanor charges.


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