Disturbing Video: Mentally Ill Inmate Andrew Holland Dies As Deputies Laugh
After deputies freed Andrew Holland from the chair and moved him to another cell, he is seen collapsing to the floor and losing consciousness.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA — On January 20, 2017, mentally inmate Andrew Holland, 36, died writhing on a floor of the San Luis Obispo County Jail while deputies idly watched and even laughed.
Now, a surveillance tape that the San Luis Obispo Tribune fought for months to publish depicts the horrifying incident as it happened. The video has gone viral online.
Holland had spent the previous 46 hours bound naked to a “plastic restraint chair.” After deputies freed the inmate and moved him to another cell, he is seen collapsing to the floor and losing consciousness.
On the tape, the deputies appear to not only fail to offer Holland any assistance, but some of them laugh at what turned out to be his final moments. Holland died from blood clots that formed in his legs directly as a result of his restraints, which then caused a fatal embolism.
The video appears to directly contradict the County Jail’s initial statement, which claimed that Holland was discovered dead two days after <em>“staff entered his cell and determined he was unconscious.”</em>
San Luis Obispo County Administrative Officer Wade Horton said the footage was “extremely painful to watch.” He is not alone in that analysis.
Andrew Holland had a history of debilitating schizophrenia. He occasionally got arrested for minor offenses. In 2015, Holland landed a two-year sentence for battery, resisting an officer, and probation violation.
Prison staffers say they put him in the restraint chair because he had been violently injuring himself and they otherwise could not subdue him.
The San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department issued a statement blaming Holland’s death on the County Mental Health Department, claiming that officers attempted to place the inmate in a psychiatric facility, but were denied.
Holland’s emotionally shattered family received a financial settlement from the County Mental Health Department.
Sharon Holland, Andrew’s mother, said the family will use the money to establish a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of mentally ill people in the criminal justice system.
In the wake of the video’s release, protestors have demonstrated on Andrew Holland’s behalf. A petition is also circulating that calls for the resignation of SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson.
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