Three Fulton County, Georgia, jail workers have resigned after a mentally unwell inmate was discovered lifeless in his cell, allegedly “eaten alive” by bugs. The person’s household is demanding a prison investigation into the incident and the conduct of jail workers and the closure of the jail itself.
“They put that man in that cell, left him there to die,” Michael Harper, the household’s lawyer, mentioned throughout a Thursday press convention. “And that is precisely what occurred.”
LaShawn Thompson, who had schizophrenia, was discovered lifeless final September in his cell within the Fulton County Jail exterior Atlanta. In accordance to WSB-TV, an area information station, Thompson was detained for 3 months after being arrested for easy battery in June. He was held within the jail’s psychiatric ward.
The Washington Put up reported final week that the jail paperwork said that the primary jail worker who discovered Thompson’s physique “freaked out” and refused to carry out CPR. The report additional notes that Thompson’s physique was coated in lice, bedbugs, and quite a few lesions. Graphic images launched by the Thompson household’s lawyer present that Thompson’s cell was coated in filth and bugs on the time of his demise, although the post-mortem listed the reason for Thompson’s demise as “undetermined.”
Fulton County legislation enforcement officers responded to constructing outrage over Thompson’s demise on Monday. “It is clear to me that it is time, previous time, to scrub home,” mentioned Fulton County Sherriff Pat Labat in a press release concerning the incident, which additionally introduced the resignation of the jail’s Chief Jailer and two Assistant Chief Jailers.
Labat additionally famous that an inside investigation into the matter is ongoing. “The ultimate investigative report won’t ease the household’s grief or convey their cherished one again, however it’s my hope and expectation that it gives a full, correct, and clear account of the information.”
The appalling situations during which Thompson lived and died should not uncommon within the Fulton County Jail. A November 2022 report from the Southern Heart for Human Rights discovered that each inmate housed within the jail’s unit for the mentally unwell had both lice, scabies, or each. The report additionally concluded that 90 % of affected inmates had been “considerably malnourished, displaying clear indicators of cachexia—a losing syndrome resulting in the lack of muscle and fats, usually seen in folks with late stage cancers.”
“That is inexcusable and deplorable,” Harper mentioned. “The medical workers and the officers noticed him deteriorating in the previous few weeks earlier than he died. They did nothing to assist him. Nothing. They discovered him lifeless in his cell, mendacity there, infested with bedbugs and lice, and that is what killed him.”
Thompson’s household has indicated they intend to file a civil go well with in opposition to the jail.