(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
(THE CONVERSATION) The family of Samuel Lawrence, one of 10 people to die in Georgia’s Fulton County Jail in 2023, is fighting for answers and accountability.
“I got to think about him every day of my life and I don’t know when the pain stops,” Lawrence’s father, Frank Richardson, told a local TV station in October 2023. “I pray to God that he touches that jail and puts people in place to help the other ones that are left behind.”
Shortly before his death, Lawrence, 34, had filed a complaint about jail conditions, alleging that he was brutally beaten and isolated, with insufficient food and water.
But Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat largely blamed the jail’s “outbreak of violence” on “the long-standing, dangerous overcrowding and the crumbling walls of the facility.”
In order to “save lives,” Labat said, his county would be requesting a “replacement jail.”
The Georgia sheriff is among many law enforcement officials to claim that people like Samuel Lawrence would...