Emory was arrested in December, 2018 after Cobb police found him in possession of a glass pipe and several pills. The report says he had a medical history of anxiety, depression, drug abuse and brain surgery following an attack during a previous incarceration.
Many in the medical community and law enforcement have warned that jails have become de facto mental hospitals over the past few decades as state-run institutions shut their doors.
Steve Gaynor, the president of the local branch of the Fraternal Order of Police, told the AJC in June that deputies are currently being forced to work overtime at the jail, which he described as dangerously understaffed.
Emory is the second mentally ill person to die in Cobb Sheriff's Office custody in the past year. Another inmate, Reginald Wilson, who suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, died of dehydration after nine days in the jail.
“It points back to that issue of how difficult it is to address mental health issues in a jail environment,” said John Snook, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center in Arlington, Virginia. “These are the really hard issues for law enforcement to address.”