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
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.”