Protesters say inmates' conditions are 'deteriorating' at DeKalb County Jail

Protesters say inmates' conditions are 'deteriorating' at DeKalb County Jail

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Protesters held their second night of demonstrations Thursday after things turned violent outside the DeKalb County Jail the day before.

It started as a social media campaign, with inmates communicating through family members, catching the public's attention. Initially, much of the campaign centered around a well-known mold issue in the jail.

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office said protesters were fine marching on the sidewalk, but when demonstrators ended up stopping traffic along busy Memorial Drive Wednesday, things took a turn.

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The protest drew nearly 100 people and ended with the arrests of four people.

Ahead of another round of protests that started at 7 p.m. Thursday, an activist told Channel 2 Action News conditions for inmates are deteriorating and their diets have become completely inadequate.

Officers allowed people to stand on the sidewalk but threatened anyone who stepped onto Memorial Drive with arrest. State troopers blocked any potential attempts to protest on I-20.

“What we're doing today, we're waking them up,” Diane Jones said.


Jones said she spent 20 days in the jail in 2014 for getting a speeding ticket while on probation.

“I’m 62. That was the worst time of my life, talking about treated like an animal for no reason,” Jones said.

Bernita Granville's 19-year-old son died inside the jail last year.

Deputies said it was suicide, but Granville still has questions.

“Someone was supposed to check in on him every so often, but no one did that,” Granville said.

The second protest ended with no arrests.

Activists said they have no plans to stop making their demands.

The sheriff said the mold problem is something that he continues to look into.

Protesters said this was not the last time that they will be out in front of the jail. They want to return again Friday night.