Lashawn Thompson‘s story left us angry and disgusted at the state of the criminal justice system. This update does nothing to change that.
For those who never heard or don’t remember (sadly, this is easy to do nowadays with so many heinous stories about Black death), Thompson was found dead in his prison cell at Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail in June of last year. Reportedly, he was “eaten alive” by an infestation of bed bugs that ravaged his body.
Today, according to WSB-TV, Fulton County has agreed to a $4 million lawsuit settlement with Lashawn’s family as a result of his wrongful death. The settlement was unanimously approved by the executive session of County Commissioners. Family attorney Michael Harper shared a private autopsy that stated that Lashawn died from “severe neglect” including malnutrition, dehydration, rapid weight loss, and bed bug bites.
Both Harper and ubiquitous civil rights attorney Ben Crump released a joint statement following the settlement agreement:
While we are satisfied to reach settlements in these matters with Fulton County and unidentified entities for undisclosed amounts, we are nowhere near the end of this journey to full justice. We will continue to work with the Thompson family –– and the community that rallied behind them –– to ensure that a tragedy like this one never happens to another family or takes one more life. Lashawn’s life mattered, and together, we can demand and motivate significant change in his name. That will be the legacy of Lashawn Thompson.”
Harper also stated that the family will not be making any statements regarding the settlement.