Family and friends of CJ Lofton are calling for more action
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Family and friends of Cedric “CJ” Lofton are calling for more action and answers following the 17-year-old’s death while in the custody of Sedgwick County Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center (JIAC).
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office are currently investigating. Some of those who knew CJ gathered outside of JICA Sunday afternoon.
Marquan Teetz, Cedric Lofton’s brother, said, “just forever think about him, all day, every day.”
Gathering with about 25 other people across from Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center, trying to understand why Lofton died after being in JICA’s custody.
“Cedric did not deserve that. He’d tell me every day I love you. Talk to me every day. He always liked to make people laugh,” said Teetz
Lofton’s older brother Marquan Teetz joined with others who knew his brother to protest on Sunday.
Scott Botz, a friend of Cedric Lofton, said, “I will remember him as always smiling, and his music was important to him.”
He added when learning about Lofton’s death, “I was in shock. I was sad. I mean, there were a few tears, I’ve got to admit. He was a good kid.”
Details provided by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office say Lofton was pronounced dead a week ago, Sept. 26, at a local hospital.
KBI and the sheriff’s office said police received a mental health call to Lofton’s foster dad’s house early in the morning on Sept. 24, and the 17-year-old was taken to JICA for evaluation using a restraint device. Once in JICA’s custody, KBI says the restraint was removed.
While taking Lofton to a holding cell, KBI says he assaulted a staff member leading to a struggle. After Lofton was put in the holding area, staff noticed he was unresponsive and was taken to the hospital, where he died a few days later.
“I want to hear the rest of what happened. Whatever it is, good or bad, pretty or ugly, we have to. This just isn’t acceptable,” stated Botz.
KBI also confirmed that up to five JIAC staff members were involved in taking Lofton into a holding cell and were not placed on administrative leave. Teetz says that’s something he wants to see changed as this investigation goes on.
Teetz says, “I don’t even want them working here. They should not be working. They should be on leave right now... I loved him more than anyone, and he knew that.”
Like other friends and family members of Lofton, Teetz wants to understand what happened to his brother.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff said the preliminary autopsy showed there were no life-threatening injuries, and no cause of death has been listed as of right now. They are currently waiting on toxicology information, as investigators said Lofton may have injected K2, a synthetic marijuana, before he died.
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