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Shaun King and Georgia NAACP Demand Clayton County Jail to Correct Dangerous Conditions

Leaders Speak Out and Announce Vigil Services During MLK Weekend

Terry's family is heartbroken, but they want this injustice to lead to change. Accountability has to lead to change, or it doesn't do much good. ”
— Attorney Thomas Reynolds
ATLANTA, GA, UNITED STATES, January 13, 2023 / -- Since the death of Terry Lee Thurmond III at Clayton County Jail in November 2022, recent reports revealed inmates living in inhumane living conditions. The rise of crimes and feces-filled floors inside the Clayton County Jail are raising concerns. An investigation into the incident concluded that Mr. Thurmond died as a result of a homicide. However, there is a lot more that needs to be known. Like many pre-trial detention centers across the country, community leaders believe Clayton County Jail needs reform and are speaking out on behalf of the families involved.

"We are deeply disturbed by the incident and are joining the family in demanding a thorough investigation by the GBI," states Gerald Griggs, President of Georgia NAACP. "The Clayton County NAACP will be following up with local authorities in Clayton County immediately."

Community members believe the institution's leadership has caused dangerous conditions for those detained for non-violent offenses. The Reynolds Law Group, representing the Thurmond family, is actively working with community members and leaders to assess the problem and develop a social justice outreach call-a-thon for reparative justice.

"Terry's death is a travesty and an injustice we have witnessed too often," states attorney Thomas Reynolds. "Terry's family is heartbroken, but they want this injustice to lead to change. Accountability has to lead to change, or it doesn't do much good. We are looking to the Clayton County Jail to repair some of the damage caused by injustice and restore the detention center to humane conditions, especially for those suffering from mental health issues."

Mr. Thurmond's family confirmed that Terry was diagnosed with mental health issues. Supporters believe inmates deserve access to adequate healthcare and medical professionals and want the institution to consider developing a crisis unit that manages detainees alleging mental health illness.

"The murder of Terry Thurmond in police custody is a grave injustice," states Shaun King, civil rights activist and co-founder of Real Justice PAC. "Terry needed compassionate medical care that addressed his mental health struggles. Instead, he was jailed, tasered, and beaten to death, with cops on top of him for nearly 15 minutes. It's not enough for these cops to lose their jobs. The video of this grave injustice must be released."

The Reynolds Law Group is pursuing a claim to hold the Clayton County Jail accountable. At the same time, the family awaits answers to their questions, including a request to see what happened to their loved one from the unreleased video taken by Clayton County. As community members gather for MLK weekend, the family hopes to honor Dr. King's legacy through peaceful resolutions and activism. Leaders will join the Thurmond family this Saturday, January 14th, to host a prayer vigil at 3:45 PM EST, followed by a press conference in front of Clayton County Jail at 9157 Tara Blvd, Jonesboro, GA 30236.

Ciara Suesberry
Berry Dynamic Agency