Parents of Andrew Holland discuss video of son’s death, future foundation plans

Posted at 6:39 PM, Mar 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-18 21:39:13-04

In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Andrew Holland’s parents talk about their lives since the video of their son’s jail death surfaced on Friday.

Saturday at 1 p.m., demonstrators began sitting in a chair outside the courthouse, the amount of time Andrew Holland was restrained before his death back on January 22, 2017.

"He was an amazing athlete," said Andrew’s father, Carty. "Amazing surfer, creative, smart, very funny and so loving. He was so loving and that’s what we miss."

Carty and Sharon Holland remember their son Andrew. With the release of the video of his death, old wounds were reopened.

"It was hard when everything started coming up again," said Sharon. "When the video was released with everything. It’s been hard for us but we’d like to put it all behind us but we don’t want to put behind the change and what can come out of his death."

They’re focusing their efforts on forming the Andrew Holland Foundation.

"We’re trying to establish a program where they don’t actually get booked into the jail," Carty explained. "They’re assessed at the point of before entry and booking and they go and get treatment."

The Holland’s would rather see treatment for people with mental illness than incarceration.

"We’re more concerned about those that go in after our son. Our son is gone. We cannot bring him back but we can keep it from happening if we can change but it has to change from the top up and the inside out," Sharon added.

They have their sights on the CooperRiis Mental Health Treatment Center in North Carolina but need $10 million to get something similar started.

"We are depending on people to understand that this is more important than a new jogging path," Sharon said. "It’s more important than even a new structure. It’s a place for people, for people like our son to be helped and not harmed."

"We have to start taking this issue by the horns and we have to fix it," Carty concluded.

Someone will be in a chair outside the courthouse until 11 a.m. on Monday, which is when the rally will begin.