The Fulton County Jail in Georgia is transferring more than 600 inmates and releasing an emergency $500,000 expenditure to address overcrowding issues after a man with schizophrenia was allegedly eaten alive by bugs in his cell.
The move comes days after deceased inmate Lashawn Thompson's family filed a lawsuit against the jail after the 35-year-old, who had schizophrenia, was apparently eaten alive by bedbugs and other insects.
"It's no secret that the dilapidated and rapidly eroding conditions of the current facility make it incredibly difficult to meet the goal of providing a safe, clean, well-maintained and healthy environment for all inmates and staff," Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat said in a Sunday statement. "Without making explicit statements about Mr. Thompson's health, it's fair to say that this is one of many cases that illustrate the desperate need for expanded and better mental health services."
On Monday, Labat "asked for, received, and accepted the resignations of the Chief Jailer, Assistant Chief Jailer and Assistant Chief Jailer, Criminal Investigative Division," according to a press release.
Jail officials placed Thompson in the psychiatric wing after determining he had schizophrenia, attorney Michael Harper previously told Fox News Digital. He shared several extremely graphic photos of Thompson and the filth he allegedly died in at the detention facility in a Wednesday press release.
Three months after his placement in the psychiatric wing, Thompson "was found in a filthy jail cell after being eaten alive by insects and bed bugs," the press release states.
"People like him get neglected. His parents are deceased. No wife, no kids. His family's not from Atlanta, so they weren't here while he was here to keep up with him. But they got the call that he had died in the jail," Harper said.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump recently joined the lawsuit.
"It is completely unacceptable to force inmates to live in appalling conditions where they are subjected to insects, grime, and infections," Crump said in a statement. "No one should be treated that way. Lashawn and his family deserve full justice for this inhumane treatment. Inmates deserve humanity and for jail officials to follow mental health protocol nationwide. We are launching an immediate investigation into Lashawn’s death – Lawshawn, his family, and the other inmates of the Fulton County Jail deserve answers now."
Public records obtained by Harper's law office apparently show that detention officers and medical staff at the jail noticed Thompson's deterioration – including an infection from bedbugs and lice on his torso – while he was still alive but did nothing to aid him.
There were "plans" to transfer him to another unit of the jail that never came to fruition when they eventually found Thompson dead in the cell, Harper alleged.
The Atlanta Police Department and Georgia Bureau of Investigation are conducting investigations into the jail and Thompson's death.
Labat extended his condolences to the Thompson family in a Monday statement.
"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." the sheriff said.