Death of inmate infested with lice, feces called homicide
A late medical exam of the victim reveals shocking findings
The lawyer of the family of a Black inmate who died from an apparent malnutrition and dehydration at the Atlanta jail in September called his death a homicide.
Ben Crump, the famed civil rights attorney who has taken up numerous cases of police abuse of African Americans, also accused jail authorities of severely neglecting the medical needs of 35-year-old Lashawn Thompson who was suffering from schizophrenia.
“For 93 days, there was severe neglect of a mentally ill citizen. So it makes it clear this was not a natural death. This was a homicide,” Crump said.
The statements were issued after Roger Mitchell, a medical examiner hired by Thompson’s family, reported the cause of his death on Monday.
In September, the official Fulton County, Georgia coroner only called the cause of his death “undetermined.”
Thompson, a Black man who was homeless, was arrested on 12 June 2022 while sleeping in a park outside an Atlanta childcare center.
‘For 93 days, there was severe neglect of a mentally ill citizen. So it makes it clear this was not a natural death. This was a homicide.’
He had an outstanding theft warrant but was jailed for “assault,” allegedly spitting on law enforcement officers.
He stayed in jail because he could not make the bail payments required for release.
For the first two months of his incarceration, Thompson was in good condition, according to Mitchell’s report. The jail’s mental health provider on 27 July reported him in a clean cell, living normally, healthy, and taking his medicine for bipolar and schizoaffective disorders.
But Mitchell said that for the next 43 days there were “minimal” records on his care, and no record of him receiving his drugs between 11 August and his death.
When Mitchell was able to examine his body days after his death, he found Thompson suffered from malnutrition and dehydration, had lost 18 percent of his body weight, and had an extensive and severe body lice infestation.
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