Hawkins was arrested July 31 by the Atlanta Police Department and booked at the Atlanta City Detention Center. After a municipal court hearing on Aug. 1, his case was bound over to Fulton County Superior Court and Hawkins was transferred to the Fulton County Jail on Aug. 5.
Hawkins was being held on a shoplifting charge and had been granted a $5,000 bond on Aug. 7. The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy.
The jail, located on Rice Street, is currently under a civil rights investigation launched by the U.S. Justice Department. Between 2009 and October 2022, more than 60 Fulton inmates died, the highest total for any jail in Georgia during that time, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation. Seven inmates in the custody of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office have died this year, the sheriff’s office said.
Christopher Smith was found unresponsive by a detention officer last week in a medical unit cell. He was resuscitated by medical personnel before being taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died last Friday morning. He had been in jail since October 2019 without bond on several felony and misdemeanor charges, including armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and third-degree cruelty to children, records show.
Earlier this month, Montay Stinson, 40 was found unresponsive with “no obvious signs of injury.” Stinson had been at the jail since October 2022 on a charge of second-degree burglary.
Last month, Noni Battiste-Kosoko was found unresponsive at the Atlanta City Detention Center with “no obvious sings of injury.” Battiste-Kosoko had been in jail since May 20 on a misdemeanor bench warrant and was being housed in the area of the ACDC that is controlled by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
Battiste’s attorneys have sent Fulton County a legal notice, citing possible claims for negligence and demanding a $10 million settlement. In her final months, Battiste-Kosoko told police she was homeless after being released from a mental health facility, court records show.
The DOJ launched the civil rights investigations into the conditions at the jail in July, citing the Sept. 13, 2022 death of Lashawn Thompson, a homeless and mentally ill man who was being held in the jail’s psychiatric wing. Fulton just approved a $4 million settlement in that case.
DOJ officials said there were credible allegations that the jail is “structurally unsafe, that prevalent violence has resulted in serious injuries and homicides, and that officers are being prosecuted for using excessive force.” The investigation is expected to focus on medical and mental health care at the jail and possible discrimination against people with psychiatric disabilities.
Thompson’s body was found covered with insects but his cause of death was undetermined, according to a Fulton County Medical Examiner’s report that highlighted a severe insect infestation in the jail.
Fulton County is moving ahead with a plans for a new jail but commissioners failed to approved a companion plan to pay for the new jail’s design and to keep the old jail running until 2029. The new jail is expected to cost approximately $1.7 billion.
The new jail is expected to have room for more inmates and vastly expanded medical and mental health services, plus educational and reentry program space. Construction is projected to last from 2026 through 2028.
Opened in 1989 to house 1,125, the current jail was almost immediately overcrowded, county officials have said. The inmate population was 2,534 as of Tuesday night, down from more than 3,200 earlier this year but still 280 over the jail’s “operational capacity.”
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is seeking to have his case moved to federal court and many legal experts expect Trump’s legal team to do the same.
It’s not clear when Trump will surrender but he made mention of the impending action in a fundraising plea posted to his social media platform on Friday.
“The Sheriff publicly declared that a MUGSHOT will be ‘ready’ for me,’” Trump wrote.
Sheriff Labat has said Trump would be treated like any other detainee.
“It doesn’t matter your status,” Labat said ahead of the indictment. “We have a mugshot ready for you.”