Colin Kaepernick is taking action regarding the case of a Black man whose family says he was eaten alive by bed bugs” in a filthy jail cell.
As previously reported 35-year-old LaShawn Thompson was found dead in a Fulton County cell in Atlanta, Georgia, three months after he had been placed in the psychiatric wing after it was determined he had mental health issues.
According to the Daily Mail, an initial autopsy performed on Thompson was unable to determine a cause of death, but his family claimed in a lawsuit that the conditions of the cell their loved one was placed in is the reason he died. In fact, last week, Thompson’s family alleged that he was eaten alive by insects and bed bugs that his cell was infested with.
Now, activist and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has pledged to pay for an independent autopsy to be performed on Thomas so that his family might get the answers they seek and see justice done.
“We are asking for a criminal investigation into the death of Mr. Thompson,” Michael D Harper, the family’s attorney, told“We are also asking for the jail to be shut down. These cells are horrible and not fit for an animal. Mr. Thompson had not even been convicted – he was being held until his trial day.” Harper has also commented that the scene of Thomas’ death was “so horrific that the detention officer said she would not even administer CPR when they found him because she was, in her words, freaked out by the scene.”
It’s worth mentioning that while the first autopsy performed by the Fulton County medical examiner listed Thompson’s cause of death as “undetermined,” the examiner also noted a “severe bed bug infestation,” according to Fox 5 Atlanta.
Thompson’s family has claimed that the jail’s employees basically watched Thompson die without attending to him as his health failed.
From the Daily Mail:
Mr Thompson’s family said they had obtained open medical records which established the detention offices and medical staff at the jail noticed that Mr Thompson was deteriorating, but did nothing to help him.
‘They literally watched his health decline until he died,’ a statement read. ‘Mr Thompson was housed in was not fit for a diseased animal. He did not deserve this. Someone has to be held accountable for his death.’
TMZ Sports reported that Kaepernick was so horrified by the details of the poor conditions had been left to wallow in that he contacted famed civil attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family, and offered to pay for a second autopsy, which can cost between $20,000 and $50,000.
Meanwhile, according to Fox 5, U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Georgia), who chairs the Senate Human Rights Subcommittee, announced Thursday that Thompson’s death had prompted him to launch an investigation into the conditions of prisons and jails in Georgia and across the country.
Thompson’s death is currently being investigated by the Atlanta Police Department and the office of Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat, who met with Thompson’s family on Thursday.
“We understand, and I have said this publicly, this is absolutely unconscionable, point blank,” Labat said in a statement.
“Most importantly, we want to, once again, extend our sincere condolences to the family of Mr. LaShawn Thompson,” he continued. “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.”
Labat said that all findings from the investigations will be turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
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