Premieres Tonight at 8pm ET
The decade's most triggering comedy
Four inmates being held at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta, Georgia, have died within the span of a month.
Samuel Lawrence, 34, who was being held in the jail on a second-degree arson charge, was found unresponsive in his cell in the early morning hours on Saturday and was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release that the Atlanta Police Department would conduct a death investigation and the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office will “perform an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.”
Lawrence is the fourth inmate to die within a month, the Associated Press reported. Alexander Hawkins, 66; Christopher Smith, 34; and Montay Stinson, 40, have also died while housed at the jail.
Alexander Hawkins was found unresponsive in his medical unit cell on August 14, the AP reported at the time. Medical personnel attempted to revive him but were unable to. He was being held in the prison on a shoplifting charge.
Christopher Smith was also found unresponsive in a medical unit cell. Like Lawrence, he was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead. He was being held on several unspecified felony and misdemeanor charges, the AP reported.
Montay Stinson reportedly had no obvious signs of injury when he was found unresponsive in his cell (it is not believed the others had injuries either). Medical personnel were unable to revive him.
In July, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a civil rights investigation into the Fulton County jail’s conditions, following the death of 35-year-old Lashawn Thompson last year. Thompson 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 on July 30 to approve a mediated settlement of $4 million to Thompson’s family, Inside Edition reported.
Harper 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.”
The Fulton County jail is also where former President Donald Trump and 18 others last week surrendered for booking on charges relating to their questioning of the 2020 election.