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Inmate found dead in cell at Dawson County Detention Center
Sheriff confirms death 'not related to any officer interaction'
police emergency

A male inmate was found dead at the Dawson County Detention Center Monday morning.

According to Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson, an inmate was found unresponsive in his cell at about 11:47 a.m. on April 8.

Deputies and emergency medical personnel provided first aid, however the resuscitation attempt was unsuccessful, according to Johnson.

The death is believed to be self-inflicted, according to the sheriff.

The deceased was identified as Joseph Michael Bishop, 57, of Dawsonville.

Bishop was arrested on Feb. 20, 2019 for hit and run, no registration, no proof of insurance, failure to maintain lane, windshield and windshield wiper requirements, tire requirements, obstruction of officer and four misdemeanor counts of probation violation.

Prior to that, Bishop was arrested on Jan. 29 for two bench warrants for failing to appear in court.

In 2018, Bishop was charged with DUI/alcohol and failure to maintain lane on April 14 and disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and DUI/refusal on June 14.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in and is conducting the investigation.

Due to the open investigation by the GBI, Johnson said his office is limited in what information can be disclosed during an investigation.

"Whenever a person dies while in law enforcement custody, normal protocol dictates that an outside agency conduct the investigation,” he said.

The sheriff confirmed that the death was not related to any officer interaction.

"Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Bishop,” Johnson said. “Although he was in law enforcement custody, he was a person, deserving of dignity and respect. We will remember his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

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