The decade's most triggering comedy
The family of a man who died in an Atlanta jail cell after allegedly being “eaten alive” by bugs has settled their lawsuit against Fulton County for $4 million.
Lashawn Thompson, 35, was arrested on June 12, 2022, for a misdemeanor simple battery charge. He was sent to Fulton County Jail and placed in the psychiatric wing because he had mental health issues. Three months later, on September 19, Thompson “was found dead in a filthy jail cell after being eaten alive by insects and bed bugs,” family attorney Michael Harper said in a statement on Facebook (WARNING: disturbing images).
Georgia’s Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted 6-0 on Wednesday to approve a mediated settlement of $4 million to Thompson’s family, Inside Edition reported. Harper told the outlet that the family will not be making a statement regarding the settlement.
“The Fulton County Commissioners’ vote speaks for itself,” he said.
Ben Crump, an activist attorney who also represented the family, sent a joint statement out with Harper following the settlement.
“While we are satisfied to reach settlements in these matters with Fulton County and unidentified entities for undisclosed amounts, we are nowhere near the end of this journey to full justice,” the statement said. “We will continue to work with the Thompson family — and the community that rallied behind them — to ensure that a tragedy like this one never happens to another family or takes one more life.”
“Lashawn’s life mattered, and together, we can demand and motivate significant change in his name. That will be the legacy of Lashawn Thompson,” the statement continued.
Crump previously said Thompson had schizophrenia and did not receive the medication he needed, adding that Thompson was neglected for 93 days and became malnourished and dehydrated, losing 30 pounds.
“…[I]t is the opinion of this forensic pathologist that Mr. Lashawn Thompson died due to severe neglect,” wrote the pathologist hired by Thompson’s family to conduct an autopsy. “The combination of dehydration, rapid weight loss, and malnutrition complicated by untreated decompensated schizophrenia led to a fatal cardiac arrhythmia of Lashawn Thompson. Had Mr. Thompson received adequate care during his incarceration at the Fulton County Jail then he would not have died at the time that he did.”
The Fulton County medical examiner had listed Thompson’s cause of death as “undetermined.”
Harper, the attorney for Thompson’s family, said in his Facebook post that jail records show that officials at the facility, as well as medical staff, “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,” Harper added. “When his body was found one of the detention officers refused to administer CPR because, in her words, she ‘freaked out.’”
First responders attempted to save Thompson’s life, but were unsuccessful, USA Today reported.
Harper described the cell where Thompson was kept as “not fit for a diseased animal.”
“He did not deserve this. Someone has to be held accountable for his death,” Harper continued.