Petition to Governor Brian Kemp to remove Rockdale County Sheriff Eric J. Levett
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Shali Tilson was 22 years old when he was arrested on March 3, 2018 for disorderly conduct due to a mental health crisis he was experiencing at the time. For the nine (9) day period preceding his death Mr. Tilson was in the Rockdale County Jail on misdemeanor charges. During that time he was never seen by a medical doctor and lost over 20 pounds. He was placed on "suicide watch" in a cell with no bed, toilet, or any source of water.
September 2019 a "good Samaritan/whistle blower" provided a copy of a video to the attorney and family of Shali Tilson which captured his final agonizing hours in jail leading up to his death. While the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office had this video in their possession for the last 16 months it was not made available to the family or public. The videos capture Mr. Tilson's desperate pleas for help and show him repeatedly pressing a call button that was not operational and banging on the door, before collapsing to the floor. Even though the Sheriff's Department policy required him to be checked every 15 minutes, he laid motionless on the floor of his cell for over 2 hours before being discovered. To date, no Rockdale County Sherriff's office employee has been terminated or charged criminally in Mr. Tilson's death.
A Special Grand Jury impaneled by Rockdale County's District Attorney Alisha A. Johnson released an 84 page special Grand Jury Presentation. The letter from District Attorney Johnson reads, "The Grand Jury found that medical, mental health, and jail staff through complacency, reluctance, assumptions and lack of procedures, training, leadership and adherence to policy, failed to recognize and adequately address the mental state and physical decline of Shali Tilson."
Shali Tilson is not the first inmate to be found dead inside of a Rockdale County jail under the leadership of Sheriff Levett. The families of Shali Tilson, Jamie Henry, and many more demand justice! In honor of Shali Tilson's birthday we are asking our community to sign and share this petition to have Sheriff Eric J. Levett removed!
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