Inmate Found Dead in Jail Cell for Disturbing Reason

Inmate Found Dead in Jail Cell for Disturbing Reason

( – A Georgia county jail says it’s made “significant adjustments” after an inmate allegedly died covered in insect bites. The dead man’s relatives say jail staff ignored the “filthy” conditions in cells. Now, state agencies are investigating what happened.

On September 13, 2022, staff at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia, went to take 35-year-old LaShawn Thompson from his cell for a psychiatric evaluation. Instead, they discovered his dead body lying in a cell his relatives said was a “death chamber,” according to WSB-TV. Photos of the cell show a filthy floor and battered, rusty furniture. According to attorney Ben Crump, who’s representing Thompson’s family, the dead man had over a thousand bed bug bites on his body and insects were found in his ears, nose, and mouth during his autopsy.

By the time Thompson died, he had been held for four months on charges of simple battery against police officers. A month into detention, he had been transferred to the jail’s mental health unit; his family says he suffered from schizophrenia and other mental health issues.

On April 17, Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat announced that he’d asked the Chief Jailer and two Assistant Chief Jailers to resign, and all three had done so. Labat said the three had over 65 years of experience between them, but acknowledged that experience could lead to “complacency, stagnation & settling for the status quo.” He added that it was “time, past time, to clean house.”

It seems Labat means that literally. Around 600 prisoners are now being transferred out of the county jail. The Sheriff’s Office is also looking at changing the medical providers it works with. Last year, the Southern Center for Human Rights warned that the jail was unhygienic and infested with lice. The previous management team ignored that warning. Now, Sheriff Labat is taking action, but the Atlanta PD and Georgia Bureau of Investigations are also looking into conditions at the jail.

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