A fourth inmate has died in the custody of Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, Georgia. Samuel Lawrence, a 34-year-old inmate, was found unresponsive in his cell on August 26 and was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital. Lawrence had been arrested in December on a second-degree felony arson charge but was never indicted. Prior to his death, Lawrence had filed a civil rights complaint alleging excessive force from deputies and other inmates at the jail.
This marks the fourth death in the jail’s custody within the last month. On August 2, inmate Montay Stinson was found unresponsive in his cell and did not respond to revival attempts. On August 10, inmate Christopher Smith was found unresponsive in a medical unit cell and later died at the same hospital as Lawrence. A week later, inmate Alexander Hawkins was found unresponsive in a medical unit cell, and resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful.
The Atlanta Police Department is currently conducting a death investigation into Lawrence’s death. It is unclear if the same is being done for the other three inmates who died this month. The Fulton County Jail has faced scrutiny in recent months, with allegations of misconduct, violence, and serious injuries resulting in a civil investigation by the Department of Justice. The investigation was prompted by the death of inmate LaShawn Thompson in September 2022, whose family claimed he had been neglected and suffered from insect bites while in the jail.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office will perform autopsies to determine the cause of death for each of the four inmates who died this month.