Lounge owner says she is targeted by Police checks - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lounge owner says she is targeted by Police checks

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January 8, 2007

Albany -- Albany Police and Marshals conducted unannounced checks in seven bars and lounges in Dougherty County Saturday night. They arrested 12 people for underage drinking. One of the club owners say she is being unfairly harassed by Police and now says she has to take action.

 Boxers Restaurant and Lounge owner Darlene Slaymaker says Albany Police are targeting her with their checks. Slaymaker said "I don't want to be treated differently. I just don't want, your are singling me out."

Albany Police call it Operation Random. Police, Marshals, Parole and Probation officers go to bars, and check for underage drinkers. Lt. James Williams said "we just want to educate the clubs to be more mindful to check Id's, as these people come into the club."

 But Slaymaker says Boxers is being harassed by Police. Slaymaker said " It is a little undaunting when six, seven, eight people come in and start ID'ing at the table."

Slaymaker says an Albany Police officer threatened to arrest her Saturday when she went into her parking lot to ask why they were checking her customers, and later set up a road check on Dawson Road to stop people leaving.

Slaymaker says she suspects some members at Porterfield United Methodist Church, just two blocks away, are trying to force her to move. Slaymaker said "they did have some of their white collar people talk to the right people to try to get us harassed."

Now she has hired a lawyer to write a letter to the Mayor, City Manager, Police Chief, and other officials,  outlining examples of what she feels is harassment. Slaymaker said "I've hired an attorney, and no, I don't want to sue."

Lt. Williams says Operation Random is welcomed by most clubs. "they are kind of glad to see us, less those that are doing something they are not supposed to be doing, they not happy with us being there.  But we are trying to make the young people safe in Dougherty County."

But Slaymaker says her club follows all city laws, and these checks could cost her customers. Slaymaker said  "it will. They made people in here mad, because they saw the unfairness in it."

 Slaymaker's letter have been mailed to city officials, and her lawyer has asked for a face to face meeting with the Police Chief.

Slaymaker says she has two people at the door who check I-D's and will continue to try to be a good neighbor to Porterfield United Methodist Church.

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