Abdur-Rahman said she also believes NaphCare, health care provider at the jail, has reached a similar settlement with Thompson’s family committing to preventive measures as well.
“No amount of money can bring back the life of a loved one,” she said. But, Abdur-Rahman said, she hopes the settlement is an indication that all parties involved will do what they can to prevent similar incidents.
Abdur-Rahman said she believes legislation she recently co-sponsored with Commissioner Bob Ellis is a “move in the right direction” for the county and the jail. It asks Sheriff Patrick Labat to give regular reports on jail operations including staffing levels, physical and mental health care and other metrics.
Atlanta attorney Michael Harper, one of the Thompson family’s lawyers, said Wednesday afternoon that the family would not be releasing a statement on the settlement.
The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation of the jail, citing Thompson’s death as one of many in the facility during the past few years.
Thompson, 35, of Winter Haven, Florida, was arrested when Georgia Tech police found him sleeping in a park in Midtown. He had been held for three months before he died in the jail’s psychiatric wing. His cause of death was undetermined, according to a Fulton County Medical Examiner report, but an independent autopsy paid for by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick concluded that Thompson died of neglect.
Harper said jail records show Thompson was unable to care for himself, that jail staff saw his deterioration and did nothing.
Thompson’s family protested outside the jail and county government buildings, calling for an investigation and changes. Days after that, Labat announced that Birmingham-based NaphCare would exit its agreement to provide inmate health care at the jail; but since then the company has been approved, with additional funding and assistance, to remain at least through the end of the year. The county had difficulty finding a replacement provider.
Labat also asked for and got the resignations of chief jailer John Jackson and two assistant chief jailers.