Trump Is Expected To Be Booked At Infamous Atlanta Jail

The Justice Department is investigating whether conditions at the overpopulated Fulton County Jail, where dozens of inmates have died, are unconstitutional.

When former US President Donald Trump and 18 others appear to be arraigned on the charges listed on Monday in the Georgia indictment over election interference, they are expected to be booked at a notoriously filthy and grim Atlanta jail that the Justice Department has been investigating.

Though Trump and his alleged accomplices were indicted on significant charges related to the 2020 presidential vote count in the state, it’s extremely unlikely that they will spend substantial time at the jail beyond the booking process. However, that’s not the case for many other individuals who have been subject to the jail’s harsh conditions, even pretrial.

The jail has seen at least 60 deaths from 2009 to October 2022, The Atlanta Constitution-Journal reported.

This year, at least five inmates have died while serving time at the jail. Two of them, 34-year-old Christopher Smith and 40-year-old Montay Stinson, died this month.

Smith, who had been held without bond since October 2019, died on August 12 after being found unresponsive in his cell, The Associated Press reported.

Similarly, Stinson was found in his cell unresponsive with “no obvious signs of injury” on August 2, according to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.

The Justice Department is investigating whether the conditions at the jail violate the US Constitution, according to a news release in July.

The Justice Department pointed to the death of 35-year-old Lashawn Thompson in September 2022. Thompson died in a cell that was not “fit for a diseased animal,” according to his attorney. His body was covered in bedbugs, and an independent autopsy found that he ”died due to severe neglect.”

“Those circumstances were far from isolated,” Assistant US Attorney General Kristen Clarke said during a July news conference. “Following Mr Thompson’s death, evidence emerged that the mental health unit where he died was infested with insects and that the majority of people living in that unit were malnourished and not receiving basic care.”

Clarke added that nearly 90% of the jail’s inhabitants were Black, making this a “racial justice issue.”

“The recent allegations of filthy housing teeming with insects, rampant violence resulting in death and injuries, and officers using excessive force are cause for grave concern and warrant a thorough investigation,” US Attorney Ryan K Buchanan for the Northern District of Georgia said in the July news release.

In April, Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat took WAGA-TV in Atlanta on a tour of the poor conditions at the jail. Labat believes that only a “replacement jail” can fix the issues at hand.

The overpopulated facility has several blocked-off floors due to flooding and human waste from toilets that overflowed and pipes that burst, the Fox TV affiliate reported. Some of the incarcerated people were captured on WAGA footage lying on plastic trays that were serving as beds.

Trump and the other defendants listed in Monday’s 98-page indictment ― including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark — have been given until August 25 to surrender at the jail but can also make the trip anytime before that date.

The indictment accuses the defendants of interfering with the 2020 presidential election in an effort to keep Trump in office despite his election loss to Joe Biden. It alleges 161 criminal acts and lists 41 separate counts.

“It doesn’t matter your status,” Labat said to reporters last week. “We have a mugshot ready for you.”

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.


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