The family of Lashawn Thompson wants justice. They claim the incarcerated man died in the Fulton County Jail after being eaten alive by insects. Famed civil rights lawyer Benjamin “Ben” Crump will now represent Thompson’s surviving relatives.
Officials found Thompson’s body, covered in bugs, on September 13 in his jail cell. Fulton County supposedly held the 35-year-old Florida native in custody on a simple misdemeanor battery charge since June of 2022.
According to reports, Fulton County housed Lashawn Thompson in the psychiatric wing due to his diagnosed mental health issues. At a news conference, Thompson’s family demanded a criminal investigation. They also want the facility to close.
“It is completely unacceptable to force inmates to live in appalling conditions where they are subjected to insects, grime, and infections,” says attorney Ben Crump in a statement. “No one should be treated that way. Lashawn and his family deserve full justice for this inhumane treatment.”
Ben Crump continues, “Inmates deserve humanity and for jail officials to follow mental health protocol nationwide. We are launching an immediate investigation into Lashawn’s death – Lawshawn, his family, and the other inmates of the Fulton County Jail deserve answers now.”
Prior to joining attorney Michael Harper in representing Lashawn Thompson’s family, Ben Crump gained national recognition for representing the loved ones of killed Black teenagers Trayvon Martin in Florida and Michael Brown in Missouri. Crump recently began working on the Rasheem Carter case in Mississippi.
Fulton County Officials Face Fallout From The Death Of Lawshawn Thompson
Fulton County Sheriff Patrick “Pat” Labat announced “sweeping changes” at the Fulton County Jail. Labat also mentioned the Sheriff’s Office will begin a probe into the circumstances that led to Lawshawn Thompson’s death.
In addition, Labat asked for and received the resignations of the Chief Jailer Col. John Jackson, the Assistant Chief Jailer Lt. Col. Derrick Singleton, and the Assistant Chief Jailer for the Criminal Investigative Division, Lt. Col. Adam Lee.
“Most importantly, we want to, once again, extend our sincere condolences to the family of Mr. LaShawn Thompson,” said Sheriff Patrick Labat in a statement released on the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
Labat added, “The final investigative report will not ease the family’s grief or bring their loved one back, but it is my hope and expectation that it provides a full, accurate, and transparent account of the facts surrounding Mr. Thompson’s death so that it provides all of the answers they are seeking and deserve.”
A medical examiner reported Lawshawn Thompson’s cause of death as “undetermined.” Ben Crump’s legal counterpart, Michael Harper, said, “The [Fulton County Jail] medical staff and the officers saw [Thompson] deteriorating in the last few weeks before he died. They did nothing to help him.”