Three officials at the Fulton County Jail in Georgia have stepped down amid an investigation into the death of an inmate who was allegedly left in unsanitary conditions.
The Fulton County Jail’s chief jailer and two assistant chief jailers, all of whom are unidentified, have stepped down per the request of Sheriff Patrick “Pat” Labat, who said in a statement April 17 that “it’s time, past time, to clean house.” The sheriff’s request comes as the jail faces scrutiny over the September 2022 death of inmate LaShawn Thompson, whose family has pointed to allegedly unsanitary conditions within the jail as the reason for his death, according to CBS News.
Thompson’s cell was “not fit for a diseased animal,” family attorney Michael Harper said, according to the outlet. Thompson, who was being held on a misdemeanor simple battery charge, had been housed in the psychiatric wing of the jail due to mental health problems since June 2022, the outlet reported.
When jail officials discovered Thompson unresponsive in his cell in September, Harper said one detention officer refrained from administering CPR because she “freaked out” over the allegedly deplorable conditions within the cell. Photos shared by Harper apparently show Thompson covered in bed bugs, according to the outlet. (RELATED: REPORT: Two Inmates Found Dead In Different Cells In Less Than 24 Hours)
“He did not deserve this. Someone has to be held accountable for his death. The Fulton County Jail must be closed and replaced,” Harper maintained, CBS reported.
“Investigators are still doing important work examining the circumstances that led to Mr. LaShawn Thompson’s tragic death,” according to the sheriff’s office press release. (RELATED: FBI Launches Investigation Into Series Of Deaths At Texas Jail)
“Most importantly, we want to, once again, extend our sincere condolences to the family of Mr. LaShawn Thompson,” the sheriff continued. “The final investigative report will not ease the family’s grief or bring their loved one back, but it is my hope and expectation that it provides a full, accurate, and transparent account of the facts surrounding Mr. Thompson’s death so that it provides all of the answers they are seeking and deserve.”
The sheriff’s office on Friday announced $500,000 in emergency funds dedicated to tackling “the infestation of bed bugs, lice and other vermin” in the facility as part of “several immediate actions” being taken to improve jail conditions, CNN reported.