Colin Kaepernick is helping a family get down to the bottom of what happened to their loved one who died under mysterious circumstances in a Georgia jail.
TMZ reports that the former pro-football star will foot the bill for a second autopsy for LaShawn Thompson. The 35-year-old was arrested in June 2022 for misdemeanor battery and placed in the Fulton County Jail. At some point, he was transferred to the facility’s psychiatric ward for treatment related to schizophrenia. Then, three months later, the man was found lifeless in his cell with an invasion of bed bugs and lice taken over his body. According to his family and their legal representation, the staff knew how severe the bed bugs were and failed to offer Thompson any help. Despite the horrid condition of his living quarters due to the infestation, the initial autopsy conducted by the county medical examiner could not determine a cause of death. Since then, his loved ones have desperately tried to secure an independent autopsy to determine what actually took place.
Independent autopsies can run anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000, but both Kaepernick and Thompson’s relatives feel this is necessary to get justice. The former quarterback was reportedly appalled to know the conditions in which Thompson and other inmates were forced to live. As a result of the outpouring of outrage from him, the family, and activists, three high-ranking jail officials have stepped down. Family attorney Michael Harper says the jail allowed Thompson to be “eaten alive” by bugs with no intervention. With the family’s blessing, he released graphic photos of Thompson’s body post-mortem covered in insects, forcing officials to take action. At the time of his death, civil rights attorney Ben Crump says the man had over 1,000 bed bugs and other insects covering his body.
The new autopsy will likely help the family in their efforts to open a criminal investigation.