Tuesday marked two years since the death of Andrew Holland, and people in the community came together to remember him.
A candlelight vigil was held Tuesday evening. People walked from the juvenile complex to the jail.
There were speakers and a poem was read during the event. Holland’s parents, Sharon and Carty Holland, were also there.
Holland was 36 years old when he died of a blood clot at the San Luis Obispo County Jail after spending 46 hours strapped into a restraint chair. Sheriff Ian Parkinson says Holland had been restrained because he was suffering from a psychotic episode and was awaiting transfer to a mental health facility.
The Holland family’s attorney spoke Tuesday night about the importance of helping people who suffer from mental illness.
“Sharon Holland said it so eloquently, that it is a community problem. It’s not adversarial. It’s not us. It’s not them. Everybody has a relative who suffers from mental illness. We are all in this together,” said Paula Canny, the family’s attorney. “The Hollands are inspirational people. Carty Holland is awesome, Sharon Holland is awesome, and they are loving, compassionate, awesome people who have done their very best to be forgiving and compassionate.”
Holland’s death sparked a firestorm in the community and prompted an FBI investigation into the jail for possible civil rights violations.
“It’s important that we remember Andrew Holland, that we remember what happened to Andrew Holland, and that Andrew Holland died in this jail,” said Canny.