LaShawn Thompson was found collapsed in a cell at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta in September 2022. According to records, the cell was so filthy that the worker who entered wore a safety suit that protected against hazardous materials.

Officers were unable to resuscitate Thompson, and the 35-year-old was later declared dead. An autopsy could not determine a cause of death, but the report listed an “extremely severe” infestation of small insects across Thompson’s body.


Georgia lawyer Michael D. Harper, who is representing Thompson’s family, stated he was “eaten alive by insects and bed bugs.” He also claimed the man’s death should force an investigation and complete rethink of the Fulton County Jail’s conditions.


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Last year, Thompson, who officers determined had mental health issues, was arrested in relation to a misdemeanor battery case.

A representative from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office stated that an investigation was underway following Thompson’s death and resources would be invested into responding to the bed bug and lice infestation. The inquiry would look over the medical care that was provided and determine whether criminal charges were appropriate.

The sheriff’s office received many complaints regarding this story on Facebook. It has responded to several comments, stating, “Comments posted should be in accordance with the Social Media Terms of Use. If you have a comment, question, concern or complaint regarding a matter unrelated to the topic posted please use this link to contact the sheriff’s office directly.”

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