On Saturday, officials disclosed the death of a Georgia detainee who was found unresponsive in a medical unit cell at a jail that was the subject of a federal investigation.
Christopher Smith, 34, was discovered unresponsive by a custody officer at the Fulton County Jail on Thursday. He was resuscitated by medical personnel. Earlier than 5:30 a.m., he was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased. Friday, the sheriff’s office released a statement regarding the incident. According to the authorities, the Medical Examiner’s Office of the county will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Since October 6, 2019, Smith has been incarcerated. According to the sheriff’s office, he was being held without parole for multiple felonies and misdemeanors.
The U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the prison, citing Lashawn Thompson’s death in September 2022 as one of several in the facility during the preceding years. The department discovered credible allegations that the Fulton County Jail is “structurally unsafe, that prevalent violence has resulted in serious injuries and homicides, and that officers are being prosecuted for using excessive force,” according to officials.
Thompson, age 35, perished in a bedbug-infested cell in the psychiatric wing of the penitentiary, garnering national attention.
His family and attorneys requested a criminal investigation into his death in April. With the family’s permission, his attorney displayed photographs of Thompson’s body covered in insects and stated that he “was found dead in a filthy jail cell after being eaten alive by insects and bed bugs.”
Overcrowding and Funding Shortages Plague Fulton County Detention Center
Last year, Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat told CBS Atlanta that the facility was in crisis due to extreme overcrowding and a lack of funding. A municipal commissioner labeled the situation a “humanitarian crisis” because nearly 500 inmates were sleeping on the floor.
The county and Thompson’s family reached a settlement earlier this month. Attorneys Ben Crump and Michael Harper, who represent Thompson’s family, stated in a press release on Thursday that the family has reached settlements with the county and other unknown entities. According to an independent autopsy report released by Thompson’s family, he suffered from untreated schizophrenia at the penitentiary and “was neglected to death.”
Five individuals have died in Fulton County custody so far this year. As a result of Thompson’s demise, county commissioners approved $5.3 million in additional prison funding for inmate health monitoring, surveillance cameras, and other improvements in April.
Source: CBS News