FBI to conduct face-to-face interviews in jail inmate death case next week

Posted at 10:39 PM, Jun 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-14 01:39:48-04

FBI agents from Los Angeles are headed to the Central Coast to investigate a high-profile death at the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

KSBY News has confirmed from multiple sources that FBI investigators plan to conduct face-to-face interviews with various county employees, including jail staff and others, within the next week as part of the probe into Andrew Holland’s death.

The 36-year-old man who suffered from schizophrenia and was in jail on battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and probation violation charges died from a blood clot in January 2017, shortly after being released from a restraint chair.

Holland was in the restraint chair for 46 hours prior to his death.

The FBI has been investigating the circumstances, including potential civil rights violations, in Holland’s death for more than a year. Agents refused to confirm or deny the upcoming interviews.

"We are aware of the FBI investigation and upcoming voluntary interviews next week. We are fully cooperating with the FBI and their ongoing investigation," stated SLO County Counsel Rita Neal in a phone interview. Neal declined to comment further on who will be interviewed or whether Sheriff Ian Parkinson will meet with the FBI, citing the county’s position to remain neutral while the investigation is ongoing.

Sheriff Parkinson has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing by the jail staff. On Wednesday, the sheriff’s office declined to comment, stating, "The sheriff’s office is cooperating fully with the FBI’s investigation and any questions regarding the investigation can be made directly to the FBI."

Last summer, the county settled with the Holland family for $5 million.

It is unclear when the FBI investigation will be completed.

Jail reform and mental health were at the center of last week’s primary where Sheriff Parkinson was re-elected by San Luis Obispo County voters by a wide margin. The Holland family supported his challenger, Greg Clayton.

Related coverage:
KSBY Investigates: Were policies followed at SLO County Jail leading up to inmate’s death? KSBY obtains jail cell video
Coroner: SLO County Jail inmate died shortly after being restrained for nearly two days
Parents of SLO County inmate who died: ‘It was more than neglect. It was torture’
SLO County announces $5 million settlement, jail changes over death of inmate Andrew Holland
SLO County officials, sheriff’s office working to improve jail conditions for mentally ill inmates
Andrew Holland’s family donates $50K to sheriff, DA candidates
Video published showing final moments of SLO County Jail inmate’s life
Exclusive: SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson talks about the death of jail inmate Andrew Holland
Holland Family Alliance reacts to KSBY interview with Sheriff Parkinson
SLO County releases sheriff’s cell phone records from weekend of jail inmate’s death
Medical records shine light on medications given to SLO County Jail inmate before death