ATLANTA, GA – An inmate in an Atlanta, Georgia jail was allegedly forced to live in horrific conditions “not fit for a deceased animal” and was ultimately eaten alive by bugs in his cell, according to an attorney representing his family.
Lashawn Thompson, 35, was housed in the psychiatric wing of the Fulton County Jail while awaiting trial for a June 2022 misdemeanor simple battery charge after officials diagnosed him with schizophrenia. Purportedly forced to live in filthy, disgusting conditions, jail staff allegedly noticed Thompson was quickly deteriorating – including suffering infections from bedbugs and lice – but did nothing about it, said attorney Michael Harper of the Harper Law Firm.
“People like him get neglected,” he said. “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.”
After being neglected by staff at the jail for three months, Thompson’s dead body “was found in a filthy jail cell after being eaten alive by insects and bed bugs,” Harper said, who is in possession of multiple graphic photographs of the sordid conditions Thompson was forced to live in.
“The family approved photographs…show[ing] that the jail cell Mr. Thompson was housed in was not fit for a deceased animal,” he said. “He did not deserve this. Someone has to be held accountable for his death. The Fulton County Jail must be closed and replaced.”
While the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office has yet to publicly comment on the situation, Sheriff Pat Labat had been quoted previously in February speaking on the desperate need for a new facility due to overcrowding conditions.
“Today we have almost 600 people sleeping on the floors and the jail is being held together with duct tape and bubble gum,” Labat said. “When you have people that are ingenious enough to start stripping the wires from some outlets and start using the materials there to build and make homemade knives…we have to create a better environment.”