The Fulton County Jail with its myriad of issues regarding the treatment of prisoners is at the center of another lawsuit for the death of 18-year-old Shane Kendall who was found dead at the Rice Street facility on Feb. 1, 2021.
The jail has been under local scrutiny following a slew of deaths over the past several months – 10 in as many months – making the facility the target of a number of wrongful death and negligence lawsuits.
Kendall’s family filed a lawsuit alleging that jail staff responded slowly and ineffectively and failed to perform continuous CPR or bring an AED to the cell to try and save the teen’s life after he was found hanged with a bed sheet in his cell. “He perished in the jail due to the complete neglect and abuse of both the Fulton County system, but also the private medical provider in the jail,” said Rachel Kaufman, his family’s lawyer.
It is still unclear if Kendall, who was mentally ill died by suicide or if his death is the result of a homicide.
Kaufman said Kendall was just 15 when was accused of shooting and killing his adoptive mother. He was charged as an adult.
“The system pushed him through the pipeline from arrest onward, automatically, like an adult, despite all the medical circumstances, and treated him in the jail like he was not severely mentally ill,” Kaufman said.
The horror stories emanating from detainees and visitors to the Rice Street facility continue to surface following the highly publicized death of an inmate, LaShawn Thompson, who was apparently eaten alive by bed bugs. In September the county settled a multimillion-dollar settlement for the death of Thompson agreeing to pay the family $4 million.
A number of local officials have repeatedly called for an investigation into the jails conditions and several have recommended closing the facility altogether due to inhumane treatment of inmates housed there, many of whom have not been convicted of any crime.
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