ATLANTA (AP) — One inmate died and four others were injured when they were stabbed Thursday at a violent and problem-plagued jail in Atlanta that is already under federal investigation, authorities said.
The deceased inmate has been identified as Dayvion Blake, who was 23 years old.
Fulton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Natalie Ammons said three of the other injured inmates were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and the fourth was treated by medical staff at the jail.
Thursday’s death at the jail brings to five the number of people who have died in Fulton County custody in just over a month.
Fulton County Sheriff Patrick “Pat” Labat said that while recent violence at the jail is concerning, it’s not surprising.
The recent outbreak of violence at the Fulton County Jail is of grave concern but unfortunately is not surprising considering the long-standing, dangerous overcrowding and the crumbling walls of the facility that are literally being crafted into makeshift weapons that inmates use to attack each other and staff. We have had an unfortunate series of deaths this year that range from natural causes, to pre-existing health conditions, to homicide. To mitigate the violence and overcrowding, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office is in constant negotiations with other detention facilities, including facilities out of state, to outsource inmates. In addition, we have been coordinating with other agencies to secure additional resources to assist with mass shakedowns and increase the cadence of these shakedowns in order to seize contraband. Since taking office on January 1, 2021, I have been very transparent about the urgent need for a replacement jail that uses smart technology and other common-sense cost saving measures that will relieve the dangerous overcrowding, improve security, provide humane detainment and most importantly save lives.Fulton County Sheriff Patrick “Pat” Labat
The Fulton County Jail is where former President Donald Trump and 18 others indicted along with him surrendered last week for booking on charges related to an alleged illegal scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia.
The U.S. Department of Justice in July opened a civil rights investigation into jail conditions in the county, citing violence, filthy conditions and the death last year of a man whose body was found covered in insects.
Lashawn Thompson, 35, died last September in a bedbug-infested cell in the Fulton County Jail’s psychiatric wing. An independent autopsy done at his family’s request found he died from severe neglect. His family has since reached a settlement with the county.
Samuel Lawrence, 34, died Saturday at Grady Memorial Hospital after he was found unresponsive in his cell at the jail. The other three people who died in the last month include 66-year-old Alexander Hawkins, 34-year-old Christopher Smith and 40-year-old Montay Stinson.
WSAV contributed to this report