Officials in Fulton County, Georgia are investigating the death of Noni Battiste-Kosoko, a 19-year-old inmate that was found dead in her cell on July 11.
According to Fox 5 News Atlanta, officials at the Atlanta City Detention Center found Battiste-Kosoko while making dinner rounds shortly after 6:30 p.m. The young detainee did not show any signs of injury according to medical personnel and members of the Atlanta Fire rescue team, who rendered aid shortly after detention center officials made the startling discovery.
Her cause of death has not been determined.
Battiste-Kosoko had been in jail since May 20 on a misdemeanor bench warrant.
Initially, her bond was set for $2,000 but due to pending charges in Miami, she was being held without bond. According to court documents obtained by SNBC 13 News, Battiste-Kosoko was being detained on charges of criminal trespassing and property damage after she allegedly caused damage to the walls and tables at Langston Hughes High School in February.
The 19-year-old was scheduled to appear in court on May 8 but failed to attend her court date, which led to her recent arrest.
Officials from the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office are expected to perform an autopsy to confirm her cause of death.
Battiste-Kosoko’s passing comes as the U.S. Department of Justice prepares to launch a civil rights investigation into the conditions of jails across the peach state. According to officials from the department, inmates at jails in Fulton County are facing violence and unlivable cell conditions. The investigation will take a closer look at how to best address the growing problem.
“Those circumstances were far from isolated,” Clarke noted during her press conference Thursday. “Following Mr. Thompson’s death, evidence emerged that the mental health unit where he died was infested with insects and that the majority of people living in that unit were malnourished and not receiving basic care.”
Battiste-Kosoko’s death is also eerily similar to Sandra Bland, the Black woman who was in police custody when she died following a questionable traffic stop that turned violent by the arresting officer in Texas in 2015.
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