Black Main Street

Inmate Found Dead In Cell After His Pleas For Help Were Ignored By Jail Staff For Hours

In March of 2018, 22-year-old Shali Tilson was arrested on disorderly conduct charges. Nine days after the arrest Tilson was found dead in his cell. 

Tilson’s family has recently released an 8-hour long video showing his final agonizing hours in jail leading up to his death. Tilson died of severe dehydration in his cell at the Rockdale County Jail on March 12.

The family’s attorney, Mawuli Davis, stated that a whistle blower recently gave the tape to his law firm. According to Davis, the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office has had the video in their possession for the last 16 months but would not make it available to the family or public until recently.

Davis says no one opened the door to Tilson’s cell during the 8-hour video despite the fact that he kept knocking and pleading for help. Tilson lost over 20 pounds during his stay at the Rockdale jail, Davis said during a news conference on Sept. 18. He was placed on “suicide watch” in a cell with no bed, toilet, or any source of water.

“They treated my son worse than an animal and nobody is being held accountable for that?” Tilson’s mother questioned.

The Tilson family filed a federal lawsuit against the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office following Shali’s death in March of 2018. Attorneys believe the case is not getting much attention because the Sheriff in Rockdale county, Eric Levett, is African American

“Folks who have the power and influence to make decisions, must be held accountable no matter what their race is,” Attorney Mawuli Davis insisted.

“This case should shine a bright light on how mental illness is being handled in our criminal justice system,” Davis concluded.

An attorney for the Rockdale County Sheriff’s office released the following statement:

“In an effort to preserve the integrity of the judicial process and avoid any potential to bias jurors who may be asked to decide the case in the future, it is the policy of our office to avoid commenting on the substance of pending litigation against our clients.  My clients have all filed motions to dismiss the federal lawsuit, and those motions remain pending. Should you wish to review the filings in federal court, they are all publicly available.”

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Kenneth Thompson September 22, 2019 at 12:37 am

Dirty motherfukers it ain’t like they got nothing to do, was sit around and talk shit all night long, those that were on duty needs to suffer the same fate.

Jaleisa Grinkley October 30, 2019 at 6:29 pm

I’m not surprised… They’re not here to serve their here to make money. They don’t care what happens to us until something happens to them. I wish him and his family the best. America will be falling sooner than we all think and their really gonna have it!!

Kevin johnson September 22, 2019 at 11:15 am

They definitely need to be held accountable,I don’t care who or what color they may be and should be removed from their post immediately pending the legal outcome.

Stephanie September 22, 2019 at 5:17 pm

Absolutely outrageous, inhumane and disgraceful. People have no heart theses days

DIANE LONG September 23, 2019 at 1:02 pm

Pastor says all these years they talked about who we was (blacks) in the negative but now we finding out who they are….”From Babylon To Timbuktu” p20 and p21…lacking in intelligence and civilization while Africa thrived

Dorothy Jones September 27, 2019 at 7:13 am

This incidence is so sad! Everyone involved
should be held accountable and dealt with accordingly. Because the person in charge was black, does not change this atrocity. Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect even if they are incarcerated.

TheManWhoTalked October 2, 2019 at 4:40 am

This is crazy and those responsible for this should go to prison.

TheManWhoTalked Ucheyahweh Namerevealed October 2, 2019 at 4:42 am

And they should pay them money for this too. I decided to show my real first name now

Anna Thompson October 29, 2019 at 10:59 am

This is so sick and inhuman of them to treat inmates in this sick manner. Someone needs to pay for this. Also this human was very young only 22 years old. What is happening here in America? It is bad enough you got him locked up, but you all don’t care about anyone. The law needs to uphold this shit and take care of this, to see that it never happens again.

AntDX316 October 29, 2019 at 10:51 pm

If you want do the time, don’t do the crime.

AntDX316 October 29, 2019 at 10:52 pm

If you Can’t do the time, don’t do the crime. lol

Biscuits October 30, 2019 at 2:16 pm

He didn’t deserve to be starved and not given water you fucking bitch. I hope this happens to someone you care about and see if you have that same energy.

Lu November 8, 2019 at 1:52 am

It was a misdemeanor you fuckin moron and death by dehydration is doing the time for whatever he supposedly was arrested for? You’re a piece of shit

mentalhealthaware October 31, 2019 at 6:50 pm

they give zero fucks about mental health you go straight to jail and then the county presses charges and they keep you there saying you are not well enough to make your own decisions


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