A disturbing video published Friday shows the final moments of Andrew Holland’s life.
Holland, of Atascadero, died in the San Luis Obispo County Jail in January 2017, after being tied to a chair for nearly two straight days.
The video, obtained by the San Luis Obispo Tribune, purportedly shows Holland, a schizophrenic, harming himself. He’s then restrained naked in a chair for 46 hours before being let out and moved to another cell.
Within minutes of being untied, Holland appears to lose consciousness and dies.
Last year, the coroner said the 36-year-old died of natural causes due to "intrapulmonary embolism," or a blood clot. However, medical research shows clots can be caused by prolonged sitting.
In a press release the day after Holland’s death, the sheriff’s office wrote, "Holland had been under the continual care of a physician."
The video, which the Tribune says was edited down from more than 100 hours of jail surveillance, does not appear to show that.
It does show a correctional deputy smiling and laughing during parts of the ordeal.
Last July, KSBY filed a public records request for the video but was denied. Since KSBY has not obtained the full video, and the Tribune’s source is not known to us, we have been unable to independently verify all that happened.
However, Holland’s parents have seen it.
Last April, Sharon Holland told KSBY, "It isn’t believable unless you see it and when you see it, at least for me, and I was watching my son die, I couldn’t help but feel such terrible pain for the people doing it. Who does that?"
San Luis Obispo County released the following statement Friday in response to the video:
The County is aware that a video depicting the circumstances surrounding the January 2017 death of Andrew Holland at County Jail has been released to the public. The County did not release the video, nor does the County know who released the video.
"The video footage is extremely painful to watch – what happened to Andrew Holland was a tragedy that impacts our entire community. Although we can’t bring Andrew back, our County has made, and continues to make, changes in response to this terrible event," said County Administrative Officer Wade Horton.
The County has adopted the Stepping Up Initiative to reduce the number of adults with mental illness in County Jail and is committed to preventing similar tragedies from happening in the future.
The County settled this heartbreaking matter with the Holland family for $5 million in July 2017.
The list of changes made at the jail includes the destruction of the restraint chair. The Stepping Up Initiative is intended to provide better care for people with mental illness who may end up in the jail.
There are now political candidates looking to unseat Sheriff Ian Parkinson, who runs the jail, and District Attorney Dan Dow, who, to date, has not filed any charges related to Holland’s death.
The FBI says its investigation into possible civil rights violations at the jail is still ongoing. That investigation began, at the sheriff’s request, after Holland’s death.
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