A man named Lashawn Thompson, aged 35, tragically passed away in jail, reportedly due to being severely neglected. An independent autopsy revealed that he had suffered from untreated decompensated schizophrenia, which contributed to his death.
During his three-month stay at Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia, Thompson experienced a distressing incident where he was allegedly "eaten alive by bed bugs."
Additionally, he lost a significant amount of weight, around 32 pounds, which accounted for an 18 percent decrease in his body weight. The cause of death was determined to be complications arising from the severe neglect he endured.
Thompson was initially incarcerated at Fulton County Jail on June 12, 2022, for a misdemeanor offense.
The man couldn't afford to pay bail, and on September 13 of the same year, just three months after his arrest, he was found unconscious in his jail cell.
When Thompson's body was discovered, he was slumped over the toilet in his cell, and the incident report filed by Fulton County Jail staff mentioned that he was completely covered in bugs.
According to the official autopsy, Thompson had "significant conditions" including dehydration, malnutrition, and a severe infestation of insects on his body at the time of his death.
The report states: "For 43 days there was minimal documentation found within the records that show care being delivered."
"The medication administration log showed that no medication was administered from Aug. 11, 2022 – Sept. 13, 2022."
Roger A. Mitchell, Jr. MD, added: "Based upon the timeline provided, Lashawn Thompson suffered from severe body insect infestation that clearly spanned greater 28 days."
According to Professor Mitchell from Howard University, who is investigating the case, he stated, "During the time it took to accumulate the severe and substantial infestation, Mr. Thompson would not have received a bath from his caregivers."
Following the initial determination of Thompson's cause of death as 'undetermined' by the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office, Mitchell was employed by a non-profit organization run by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to conduct an independent autopsy and delve deeper into the circumstances.
In Mitchell's report, it was concluded that Thompson's death was classified as a 'homicide'. Mitchell expressed the following in his findings: "Mr. Thompson was neglected to death."
During a press conference held on Monday, May 22nd, civil rights attorney Ben Crump stated: "I want to go on record: This is the most deplorable death and custody case in history."
Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat has responded to the release of the independent autopsy report by issuing the following statement:
"I have not had a chance to fully review the independent autopsy report. However, even before this report was issued it was painfully clear there were a number of failures that led to Mr. Thompson's tragic death."
"I have already held the executive staff responsible for jail operations accountable by asking for and receiving the resignations of the Chief Jailer, Assistant Chief Jailer of Housing and Assistant Chief Jailer, Criminal Investigative Division," it continued.
"Repercussions for anyone found to be negligent in Mr. Thompson's care could come once the full investigation is turned over to the GBI for review."