DEKALB COUNTY, GA – Protesters held their second night of demonstrations Thursday after things turned violent outside the DeKalb County Jail the day before.
It started as a social media campaign, with inmates communicating through family members, catching the public’s attention. Initially, much of the campaign centered around a well-known mold issue in the jail.
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office said protesters were fine marching on the sidewalk, but when demonstrators ended up stopping traffic along busy Memorial Drive Wednesday, things took a turn.
The protest drew nearly 100 people and ended with the arrests of four people.
Ahead of another round of protests that started at 7 p.m. Thursday, an activist told Channel 2 Action News conditions for inmates are deteriorating and their diets have become completely inadequate.
Officers allowed people to stand on the sidewalk but threatened anyone who stepped onto Memorial Drive with arrest. State troopers blocked any potential attempts to protest on I-20.
“What we’re doing today, we’re waking them up,” Diane Jones said.
In April 2019, protests were still being held regarding conditions in the DeKalb County Jain. In the two previous years, DeKalb Sheriff Jeffrey Mann requested more funding in the county budget to address mold and aging equipment. He received $1.5 million in emergency funding to address mold and plumbing issues.
Mann requested another $9.5 million in the 2019 budget to fix up the 1 million square-foot facility, but the county commission and CEO Michael Thurmond approved just $864,835.
Inmates have taken to Facebook and Twitter to plead their case. They claim the jail provides inhumane conditions.