Lashawn Thompson

Family Of Man ‘Eaten Alive By Bedbugs’ Reaches Settlement With Fulton County

The family of LaShawn Thompson is finally receiving some justice in his honor after reaching a $4 million settlement with Fulton County, Georgia, CNN reports.

County commissioners approved the settlement with a 6-0 vote after the family met with them on Aug. 2, 2023, in a closed-door executive session. Thompson was an inmate at the Fulton County jail, where his family said he lived in a “torture chamber.” Arrested for a misdemeanor assault charge and housed in the psychiatric wing due to mental health issues, Thompson died in September 2022 from psychological and physical health neglect.

After a medical review at the request of his family, officials ruled the 35-year-old’s death a homicide. The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office listed Thompson’s manner and cause of death as undetermined, listing schizoaffective disorder, bipolar and acute exacerbation as “other conditions.” The independent medical review listed “untreated decompensated schizophrenia” as a contributing cause of death, dehydration, and severe body insect infestation, including lice and bed bugs, as “significant conditions.” “The cell he was in was not fit for a diseased animal,” Michael Harper, the family attorney, said. “This is inexcusable, and it’s deplorable.”

Harper and prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump said in a statement they are pleased with the settlement but know there is more work to be done on behalf of similar inmates. “The Fulton County Commissioners’ vote speaks for itself,” the statement read. “LaShawn’s life mattered, and together, we can demand and motivate significant change in his name. That will be the legacy of LaShawn Thompson.”

During the investigation into the circumstances of Thompson’s demise, the family called for the Fulton County jail to be closed and replaced. “That jail should be closed because nobody should be housed like this,” Thompson’s brother, Brad McCrae, said, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. “It was a crazy incident that happened, and we want justice for it.”

Since his story made national headlines, at least three jail officials have stepped down during the investigation.