Independent autopsy released for inmate ‘eaten alive’ in ‘death chamber’ at Fulton County Jail

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The family calling for justice after they say their loved one was “eaten alive” by bed bugs at the Fulton County Jail has released the results of an independent autopsy.

The family of Lashawn Thompson talked about the autopsy along with their attorney, Ben Crump, on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol on Monday.

Thompson died in September after a three-month stay at the jail. He was arrested in June for simple battery, a misdemeanor.

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Graphic images showed Thompson’s face, mouth and torso covered with insects.

Crump says a board-certified forensic pathologist conducted the independent autopsy and determined Lashawn Thompson’s death was a homicide.

“Mr. Thompson was neglected to death,” said Crump. “Somebody has to be held accountable for this.”

The independent autopsy report noted that Thompson suffered from dehydration, malnutrition, and severe body insect infestation.

Former NFL star and activist Colin Kaepernick paid for the independent autopsy.

The initial autopsy from the Fulton County Medical Examiner listed the cause of death as “undetermined.”


“Let the world know because this could be your family,” said Thompson’s brother Brad. Family members previously described the jail cell as a “death chamber.”

The family and their Attorneys want the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to look further into the case and conditions at the Fulton County Jail.

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners recently approved $5.3 million dollars in funding for sweeping emergency changes at the jail, including GPS health trackers, sanitation and executive changes.

The family would also like to meet with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.

Attorney Michael Harper previously said Thompson was diagnosed with schizophrenia but was physically healthy when booked into jail.

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Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat previously responded to the claims. His office released a new statement about the independent autopsy report:

I have not had a chance to fully review the independent autopsy report. However, even before this report was issued it was painfully clear there were a number of failures that led to Mr. Thompson’s tragic death.

I have already held the executive staff responsible for jail operations accountable by asking for and receiving the resignations of the Chief Jailer, Assistant Chief Jailer of Housing and Assistant Chief Jailer, Criminal Investigative Division. Repercussions for anyone found to be negligent in Mr. Thompson’s care could come once the full investigation is turned over to the GBI for review.

I remain committed to making sure the Thompson family receives the answers they need and deserve about the unconscionable circumstances surrounding Mr. Thompson’s death.


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