MONDAY, MAY 1, 2023
The person who died in jail: Colin Kaepernick did the right thing about ten days ago.
You've almost surely heard nothing about what Kaepernick did. Or about the person who died in jail.
We can find no sign that the astounding event in question was ever reported in the New York Times. We can find no sign that it has ever been mentioned on MSNBC.
(We can find no sign that it was ever mentioned on CNN. CNN did publish news reports about the event. For links, see below.)
We became aware of this event because of a little-noticed news report by Daniel Wu in the nearly endless online version of the Washington Post. The report appeared on April 21. Headline included, it started as shown below.
Warning! One statement here strikes us as inaccurate. More on that below:
Colin Kaepernick to pay for autopsy in Georgia jail death, attorney says
Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback and civil rights activist, will pay for an independent autopsy to reexamine the death of Lashawn Thompson, who died last year in a Fulton County jail cell infested with insects, attorney Ben Crump said at a news conference Thursday.
Thompson’s death in September sparked outrage last week when his family released documents and graphic photos describing the squalid conditions of the Atlanta jail where he was kept. A report by the Fulton County medical examiner said that Thompson had an “extremely severe” infestation of small insects across his body but that his cause of death was undetermined.
Please note! According to the medical examiner, Thompson did indeed have an "extremely severe" infestation of insects at the time of his death.
This isn't simply a claim by the family of the deceased! As his report continues, Wu quotes the sheriff of Fulton County saying such things as this:
In a statement following the news conference, Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat called Thompson’s death “inexcusable” and said the Fulton County Jail has been in “crisis mode” for decades. He described the jail as dilapidated and overcrowded and called for the construction of a new facility.
“The type of infestations that contributed to Mr. Thompson’s death are going to be a recurring problem in a jail where hundreds of detainees do not have cells and have to sleep on the floor,” Labat said.
According to Sheriff Labat, the Fulton County jail has been in "crisis mode" for decades. These infestations are going to continue, the sheriff remarkably said.
In that report, Wu was principally reporting on Kaepernick's donation of the funds for a private autopsy. He linked to his original report about Thompson's death, which had appeared on April 14.
Headline included, these excerpts are drawn from that initial report:
Man died after being ‘eaten alive’ by bugs in filthy jail cell, family says
Lashawn Thompson was slumped over in a cell at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta when a detention officer came to check on him in September. The cell was so dirty that a worker who entered it wore a safety suit designed to protect from hazardous materials, according to jail records.
Thompson was “eaten alive” by insects and bed bugs, Michael Harper, an attorney for Thompson’s family, said in a news release Wednesday. The release, accompanied by jail records and graphic photos of Thompson and his cell, called for a criminal investigation into the 35-year-old man’s death and for the Fulton County Jail to be shuttered and replaced.
That cell was covered in filth and lice when officers found him unresponsive in September, according to the jail’s incident report. Another report from the Fulton County medical examiner called the insects bed bugs. The officer who first found him “freaked out” and did not immediately administer CPR, a Fulton County Jail supervisor said in the jail’s incident report.
Apparently, it was just another day in the Fulton County Jail. Again, we call attention to the number of statements which are dawn from official reports by public officials.
Above, we said that one statement in Wu's April 21 report struck us as being inaccurate. That was Wu's claim that new reporting about Thompson's death had "sparked outrage" in the previous week.
To the extent that that's true at all, it only seems to be true in a limited way on the local level. On the national level, the remarkable facts of Lashawn Thompson's death have sparked no interest at all.
As we've often noted, it easier to notice the things our journalists say than to notice the topics they skip. Here within our own blue tribe, our corporate tribunes talk about Donald J. Trump all day and all night, but they pay little attention to a range of other topics.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our tribunes don't like to disturb us. They like to picture Trump in jail, bit that's where the interest ends. They prefer to serve us endless bowls of pleasing tribal porridge.
Tedious topics like this go undiscussed. In this case, it was apparently just some guy in the Fulton County Jail!
Our tribunes didn't bother with this. More on such high-end disappearing acts to follow.