Justice 4 Justin NOW

$5,459 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 68 people in 19 months
Created January 24, 2018
Justice for Justin NOW


Be Brave, Speak Loud, Seek Truth

Justin was 20 years old when his life ended tragically.  

His parents received the call all parents dread. The call  that shakes you to the core.  The call that drops you on your knees and makes you wonder if you'd ever wake up from this nightmare.  The call where the person at the other end of the phone  tells you "He is not doing well...He is in the ICU".  That call came in on November 16, 2017.  His parents flew across country and continents to find their son intubated and on life support.  Justin died from severe brain damage on November 18, 2017.  

At 20, Justin was a young man full of potential, chasing after life, and learning lessons through trial and error. His big smile and larger-than-life attitude made heads turn. As great as he was, he was not perfect. While navigating through the ever-challenging transition to adulthood, he made a mistake. This particular mistake landed him in jail on a marijuana-related conviction.  He  took responsibility for this mistake and was serving his time.  This charge did not define him, or cause his loved ones to care any less about him. It certainly was not, and should not have been the death sentence that it was.  

The State of Oklahoma where he died while in custody, did not perform an autopsy on Justin. It does not appear they conducted any meaningful investigation on the circumstances of his death, which they are refusing to release to the family.  Countless people die in jail while in custody, many under suspicious circumstances, and some for reasons that will never be known. In Oklahoma, that seems to be a reoccurring theme. A quick Internet search under “death in Oklahoma jails” will return dozens of results.

There are many media reports of suspicious deaths in Oklahoma jails and the ACLU of Oklahoma has been pushing for accountability and reform. Public officials seem to be indifferent to the widespread problem. The links below will show you the obstacles his family is facing; there is still much to be done.

Justin Thao was a son, brother, nephew, cousin and friend. This beautiful human being was killed in an Oklahoma jail under circumstances that are still uncertain. Officials have not allowed his family to obtain any information, including their request to have the family’s forensic pathologist examine the cell he was allegedly in at the time of his discovery. Justin, like many who died of suspicious jail death, was found 'unresponsive.'  

Everyone who knew Justin does not believe that he would commit suicide. While incarcerated, he talked to his family daily and he wrote about the dreams and future he looked forward to once being released. Not only do we owe it to Justin to find out what really happened, but to countless others who have died without a voice. The family has paid a private forensic pathologist to do an autopsy, and the findings remain unclear and suspicious due to the obstacles barring them from pursuing their quest for justice.   Legal assistance to dig deep into this murky water and further investigation will be necessary.  It can only be done with your support.

Please help the JUSTICE FOR JUSTIN fund in furtherance of all of our human rights.  Support this effort to bring Justice for Justin and in turn, Justice for the voiceless.  Let's hold those responsible for his death accountable.  Transparency is paramount.   

This can only be done with your generous donation, where every dollar counts.  If you cannot donate, your help is still needed for our petition, where every signature matters to demand a probe into the investigation or lack of investigation into Justin's death. 

Please like and follow Justin's story on:



Media about jail death in Oklahoma: 





Thank you.

- this GOFUNDME is created by Jon Thao on behalf of May Kou Heu, my mother for my brother Justin Thao #Justice4Justin
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November 18 will mark the first anniversary of Justin's last breath on this earth.
How do you begin to celebrate an anniversary of pain and suffering, of despair and loss?
How do you bury you child before you've even lived long enough to raise his children? Justin's mother will not have that opportunity. That opportunity has been torn from her by the employees of the privately owned jail at Grady county, a facility contracted by the U.S Marshals.
Justin's took his last breath in the presence of his mother, father, brother, and cousins. He was surrounded by those who love him and who will continue to fight for him to bring justice to his senseless death. His story is one of many similar stories of jail deaths, one too many.
This week, Spencer Bryan, who represents the estate of Justin Thao, will be filing a complaint against the state of Oklahoma. After many months of unsuccessful attempts to obtain truths and closures, in the eve of Justin's one year anniversary, we will seek justice the only way the state knows how to answer. We also know that, just like the last year, the state will drag its feet until the last hour to file a response. They will continue their well know delaying tactics to discourage us from moving forward. At this point, what we have left and all we have, is time. They have already taken the most precious person in our lives and whether they reply today or tomorrow, Justin will not be coming back. This is the hardest truth to bear. So whatever tricks they will try to pull over our eyes, there will be no fears because Justin will be watching us and will be guiding us to the truth. Justin is Justice. It is in his name. We will not be deterred to go quietly.
The following video will show you a case similar to Justin's. It will also show you Spencer Bryan who represented Maurice Pendleton and his family.

Please continue to support our cause. This is not over.
Thank you .
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This update is grim.

The information is disturbing to say the least. The callousness of the jailers is unspeakable and atrocious.

Justin, we heard your cries for help.

We heard you just wanted to go home to California.


We are crying for you. For the pain you suffered. For the inhumane way they treated you.

I felt so lost not knowing what happened to you. I still feel lost because there are still so many unknowns.

At first, I feared that you might have been so scared and alone against the brutes that have become the animals living in the cage that they placed you in. I cried because I did not know how helpless you must have been.

Now I cry because my worst fear is the reality you lived through.

I hear you, son, I feel your pain, your anguish, your cry for help. I hear you. I hear you and I am so sorry I was not there to help you. I cry because you were helpless and powerless. I cry because they stole your life away from us. I cry because I feel helpless and powerless.

Justin, this much you already know, as I hear you in your last hours: we will fight for you, fight to find JUSTICE 4 JUSTIN, to find you peace. You knew you would not survive these last few hours and you left us with information that you knew will be needed. You knew we would not give up on you. You were so brave, my son, so brave

I love you Justin

your mother, May Kou

- Please continue to support our cause. Our journey is far from over. It has barely began. It seems to be an uphill battle, but the " journey of a thousand miles begins with one step" and one step at a time it will be
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Things have not been going as smoothly as the family would have hoped. For every step forward you make, you are being pushed several steps back.

The family is requesting many things from the state to release what they know will show what happened to Justin, through the Freedom of Information Act.

"What is FOIA?
Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has provided the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement."

The FOIA exemptions and exclusions for law enforcement in this case are no longer relevant, because there is no ongoing investigation, no confidential informant involved, or any other reasons.

The only reasonable explanation for lack of transparency from the state then would be because there is something to hide, plain and simple.

Please help the family in their effort to bring light to the surface. This can only come from working with knowledgeable attorneys with all the tools they will require to penetrate the walls of this fortress that is protecting the state instead of protecting the citizens that have been silenced.

Here is a case that a family has continued to work on to find who killed their loved ones, since 1995, in Oklahoma. Some photos may be graphic.


Justin's family would like to find closure soon.

Please support Justin's family. Donate what you can. There is no amount too small. Every dollar counts.

Thank you
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Grady county jail, Oklahoma:
1. Release the tapes!
Let us see how Justin was lead to his death!
2. Showers in cells? Really? We want to see how true that is
3. Let our pathologist do his job. If Justin tried to commit suicide, let him see the scene, so we can understand
4. We want answers. We want peace of mind and peace for Justin
5. We want #Justice4Justin
Justin was full of life and loved by so many people
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$5,459 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 68 people in 19 months
Created January 24, 2018
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