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Family says loved one found dead in Fulton jail could have been killed by inmates

The family of a man found dead in a holding cell at the Fulton County Jail are sharing more details about what they believe happened to him.

Samuel Lawrence, 34, was found unconscious in his cell last month. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead.

Channel 2’s Michael Seiden was at a press conference with Lawrence’s family on Wednesday.

They are demanding justice for their loved one and have released some details of an independent autopsy they performed.

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“There was evidence of physical abuse he suffered,” said civil rights activist John C. Barnett. “There were injuries to his chest and there were bite marks on his body that the medical examiner estimated were there for a week before his death.”

They say they believe foul play was involved in Lawrence’s death.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office says they are investigating the death, but declined to comment.

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“His last words were, ‘Get help, please,'” Barnett said.

Lawrence wrote these words in a civil rights complaint he filed four days before his death.

“I would like to file a temporary restraining order and request a transfer due to continued physical torture, brutality of guards and neglect of prisoners,” he wrote.

He says he was often targeted by other inmates.

“He says that on this particular day, a group of them actually opened his cell door, went in and a fight ensued,” Barnett explained.

The family’s lawyer says they will move forward with lawsuits once both official and independent autopsies have been completed.

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