LaShawn Thompson~, whose family claimed he was “eaten alive by insects and bed bugs” at the Fulton County Jail, perished from “complications due to severe neglect,” per an independent autopsy. In a press conference held outside the Georgia State Capitol on Monday, Thompson’s family and attorneys Ben Crump and Michael Harper expressed their opinions and revealed the findings of the independent autopsy, which determined that Thompson died as the consequence of a “homicide.”
According to the postmortem report, which ABC News was able to get, Thompson’s death in the Atlanta jail on September 13, 2022, was caused by “dehydration, malnutrition, severe body insect infestation,” “untreated decompensated schizophrenia,” and other illnesses. Social media went viral with photographs of Thompson’s filthy cell and photos of him covered in bed bugs, which sparked a backlash. “It’s enough that the bed bugs and lice just sat there and ate my brother to death, but it’s the neglect that hurts me the most,” Thompson’s brother Brad McCray said in a press conference on Monday. “These pictures are everywhere online and in the media. It’s unsettling. It’s terrible. And my family is greatly impacted,” McCray continued.
Harper confirmed to ABC News that Thompson’s independent autopsy was paid for by the Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp charity organization. The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office released a previous autopsy of Thompson on January 12, 2023, listing the cause of death as “undetermined.” Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers star and social justice activist, offered to pay for an independent autopsy.
The Fulton County autopsy, which ABC News was able to get, was finished on September 14, 2022, one day after Thompson passed away, and it included the following diagnoses: “Schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and acute exacerbation.” When questioned about the findings of the independent autopsy by ABC News on Monday, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office declined to comment.
According to jail records, Thompson was detained on June 12, 2022, for simple violence against police officers. In an April 17 statement, Labat, who joined the family at an earlier press conference in April, claimed that “sweeping changes” had been made at the Fulton County Jail as a result of the investigation’s preliminary findings. The chief jailer, the assistant chief jailer, and the assistant chief jailer of the jail’s Criminal Investigative Division, according to Labat’s statement, all submitted their resignations when he requested them.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will receive a report following the conclusion of the investigation for evaluation. “Once the complete investigation is given to the GBI for review, consequences for anyone found to have been careless in Mr. Thompson’s care may occur.”
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