Tyrique Jameal Tookes was found dead in Atlanta's Fulton County Jail on Saturday morning, prompting the Georgia Bureau of Investigations to open an investigation.
GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the sheriffs office at the Fulton County Jail is conducting the investigation into Tookes' death, adding that he had been complaining for nearly two weeks about chest pain.
Tookes was arrested March 8 on charges of theft that allegedly occurred two days earlier. He was being held on an $8,000 bond.
An autopsy done on Sunday said Tookes died of "natural causes."
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The Southern Center for Human Rights, a non-profit law firm dedicated to helping people across the South, noted on Twitter that they were already suing the Fulton County Jail for holding mentally-ill women in isolated, unsanitary and degrading conditions.
Women with psychiatric disabilities at the South Fulton Jail are being held in torturous conditions of solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. Similarly situated men, though, have access to full-day programming & and on-site psychiatrist. So we're suing. https://t.co/g8nvnrZg59
— SCHR (@southerncenter) April 11, 2019
In their lawsuit they said women were being held on low-level misdemeanors and could not get out because they could not afford to pay their bail. A judge forced the county to make changes to how the jail runs after its appalling conditions were revealed to lawyers for The Southern Center for Human Rights.
Yet another heartbreaking death in Fulton County Jail. Tyrique Jameal Tookes was only 18 years old. He had been complaining of chest pains for weeks. He was found dead in his cell on Saturday. https://t.co/7Pqr7HvSit
— SCHR (@southerncenter) May 7, 2019
"Yet another heartbreaking death in Fulton County Jail," they wrote on Twitter.
"Tyrique Jameal Tookes was only 18 years old. He had been complaining of chest pains for weeks. He was found dead in his cell on Saturday."
Gracie Willis, a staff attorney for The Southern Poverty Law Center, recently told an Atlanta City Council meeting, "the treatment of people in Atlanta’s city jail is a stain on our city."
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