A man died at an Atlanta jail after being eaten alive by insects and bed bugs, his family’s attorney has alleged.
Lashawn Thompson was allegedly eaten alive by bugs in his Fulton County jail cell while awaiting trial for a June 2022 misdemeanor battery charge.
The 35-year-old’s family is calling for the closure of the jail as well as a criminal investigation into the death.
Thompson had been placed in the psychiatric wing after officials determined he was mentally ill.
Attorney Michael Harper of the Harper Law Firm said: “People like him get neglected.
“His parents are deceased. No wife, no kids.
“His family’s not from Atlanta, so they weren’t here while he was here to keep up with him.
“But they got the call that he had died in the jail.”
Harper issued a press release with photos that said:
“The legal team, family and supporters of Lashawn Thompson, an inmate who died at the Fulton County Jail on September 13, 2022, will hold a press conference and media event on tomorrow, April 13, 2023 at 2:00 PM on the courthouse steps of the Fulton County Superior Court 136 Pryor St. SW, Atlanta, GA 30303.
“The purpose of the press conference is to call for the closure and replacement of the Fulton County Jail and to request a criminal investigation into the death of Lashawn Thompson.
“Mr. Thompson was arrested for misdemeanor simple battery on June 12, 2022, in Atlanta, GA.
“After his arrest Mr. Thompson was placed in the Fulton County Jail.
“After determining that Mr. Thompson had mental health issues, he was placed in the psychiatric wing of the Jail.
“Three months later Mr. Thompson was found dead in a filthy jail cell after being eaten alive by insects and bed bugs.
“Jail records obtained via GA Open Records Requests establish that the detention offices and medical staff at the Jail noticed that Mr. Thompson was deteriorating, but did nothing to administer aid to him or to help him.
“They literally watched his health decline until he died. When his body was found one of the detention officers refused to administer CPR because in her words she ‘freaked out.’
“The family-approved photographs attached to this release show that the jail cell Mr. Thompson was housed in was not fit for a diseased animal.
“He did not deserve this. Someone has to be held accountable for his death.
“The Fulton County Jail must be closed and replaced.”
According to The USA Today:
According to a Fulton County Medical Examiner’s report obtained by USA TODAY, Thompson was found unresponsive in his jail cell Sept. 19, and pronounced dead after failed life-saving attempts by responding local police and medical personnel.
“The officer stated that it is unknown the last time the decedent was seen as the case continues to be investigated,” the Oct. 26 report continues.
There were no obvious signs of trauma found on Thompson’s body, the coroner wrote, but his entire body was covered in bed bugs. The report also goes on to note a “severe bed bug infestation” in the inmate’s cell in the psychiatric ward.
Thompson’s cause of death, the report shows, was listed as undetermined.
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