Family of inmate who died at Fulton County after being 'eaten alive' demanding justice

Family and supporters of Lashawn Thompson, an inmate who died at the Fulton County Jail in 2022, called for the closure and replacement of the Fulton County Jail and to request a criminal investigation into the death of the Georgia man.

According to reports, Thompson was arrested for misdemeanor simple battery on June 12, 2022, and was placed in the Fulton County Jail. He was later transferred to the psychiatric wing of the jail due to mental health issues. Three months later, he was found dead in a dirty jail cell after reportedly being attacked by insects and bed bugs, according to the family's legal team. Jail records reportedly reveal that detention officers and medical staff at the jail noticed Thompson's deteriorating health but did nothing to help him, leading to his untimely death.

"We have jail reports showing they saw Mr. Thompson deteriorating, the medical staff and officers saw him deteriorating in the last few weeks before he died and did nothing to help him," said attorney Michael Harper, who is representing the family.

Harper shared photographs of the filthy jail cell the deceased inmate was held in during that period.

Thompson's relatives live out of state and only learned the man, originally from Winter Haven, Fla., was incarcerated after jail officials notified them of his death.


The family is calling for a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death, as well as the closure and replacement of the Fulton County Jail.

"That jail should be closed because nobody should be housed like this. It was a crazy incident that happened, and we want justice for it," said Brad McCrae, his brother.

The cause of death was listed as ‘undetermined’ by the county medical examiner, but the 35-year-old's body was found covered in bed bugs and insects. His family is convinced the deplorable living conditions and lack of medical care contributed to his death. 

Fulton County Jail has been plagued with numerous issues over the years.

A deputy was recently fired for allegedly opening doors for an inmate; officers are under suspicion for allowing inmates to order from restaurants; an inmate reportedly bit off part of a deputy's ear; and a female officer was caught on camera being intimate with an inmate.


Family and supporters of Lashawn Thompson is demanding justice after Thompson died at Fulton County Jail. 

A few weeks ago, more than 200 shanks, a cellphone, tobacco products and other smoking materials were discovered inside the Fulton County Jail.

In February, a detention officer was arrested after being accused of not protecting an inmate from physical harm and aiding and abetting during the commission of a crime.

The Fulton County Jail is one of the largest jails in the country, with a capacity of over 2,500 inmates. It is operated by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office, and provides a range of services including medical care, mental health treatment, and educational programs for inmates. However, the jail has continued to face challenges related to overcrowding and staffing shortages, as well as concerns about inmate treatment and safety.


Family and supporters of Lashawn Thompson is demanding justice after Thompson died at Fulton County Jail.

In a response to FOX 5, a spokesperson for the Fulton County Sheriff's Office extended their condolences to Thompson's family and said that an investigation began with the department spending $500,000 to address the infestation of bed bugs, lice, and other vermin and upgrading protocols for security rounds to address sanitary conditions of inmates.

"The health, well-being and security of inmates in our care is our top priority.  It’s no secret that the dilapidated and rapidly eroding conditions of the current facility make it incredibly difficult to meet the goal of providing a clean, well-maintained and healthy environment for all inmates and staff," the spokesperson wrote. "That is precisely why Sheriff Labat continues to call building a new Fulton County Jail and Criminal Justice Complex which will provide an elite level of care, mental health services, security and cleanliness."

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The family of Lashawn Thompson, an inmate at the Fulton County Jail who died on Sept. 13, 2022, held a press conference on April 13, 2023. (FOX 5)

The investigation into Thomson's death is ongoing and could eventually lead to possible criminal charges, officials said.

"We are asking for Fani Willis, the DA of Fulton County to launch an investigation into the death of LaShawn Thompson and we are also asking for the Fulton Commissioners to close the jail and open a new one," said Harper. 

Thompson's family members said they do expect to file a civil suit in the case.