The family of an Atlanta man claims the man was eaten alive by bed bugs in a local jail.
Lashawn Thompson, 35, died as a result of bed bugs in a squalid jail cell, according to his family. They are calling for a criminal investigation into Thompson's death and the closure of a local jail.
While Thompson was imprisoned at the Fulton County jail in Atlanta on a misdemeanor charge, jail officials had placed him in the facility's mental health unit after determining he had mental health issues.
Only a few months after his initial arrest, Thompson was found dead inside a grime and insect-infested cell. The condition of the cell was so filthy, an employee had to wear a hazmat suit when entering the filthy cell, the Washington Post reported.
“They left him there essentially,” said Michael Harper, a lawyer representing the Thompson family, to Insider.
“And they had a plan to take him to the medical observation unit, but their plan never happened, and they found him dead, eaten by these bed bugs.”
According to the Post, Thompson's family in Alabama had no idea Thompson was incarcerated and found out only after his death was announced by authorities.
There was no cause of death determined after Thompson's autopsy, but he had an "extremely severe" infestation of small insects on his body and "severe bed bug infestation" in his cell.
The graphic photos released by Harper show Thompson's cell in terrible condition, and Thompson covered with bugs.
According to WSB-TV, Thompson's brother Brad McCrae said the photos were distressing to view. “It was heartbreaking because nobody should be seen like that. Nobody should see that,” said McCrae.
Lashawn Thompson's fate is a horrible culmination of the jail and prison industrial complex in America that strips away the humanity of incarcerated people, particularly those from marginalized communities.
Source: The Guardian