Disturbing surveillance video has surfaced of inmate Andrew Holland writhing on the floor, losing consciousness and dying in front of sheriff’s deputies at the San Luis Obispo County Jail on Jan. 22, 2017.
Some of the deputies laughed as the mentally ill man suffered for 46 hours while bound naked to a restraint chair in a solitary confinement cell.
Holland, who suffered from schizophrenia, died one hour after he was officially released. Holland spent nearly all of his 15 months in solitary confinement.
The jail video contradicts San Luis Obispo County officials’ false claims that Holland was “found unconscious and unresponsive,” and was “under the continual care of a physician,” notes the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
San Luis Obispo County tried to stop the San Luis Obispo Tribune and other media outlets from viewing the video of Holland’s agonizing death at the hands of deputies in 2017.
San Luis Obispo County used bogus claims of medical and personnel confidentiality, and jail security issues.
The San Luis Obispo County’s medical examiner said Holland’s cause of death was “natural” because of an pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in Holland’s leg traveled to his lung.
People at risk for a pulmonary embolism should “get up and walk around every 2 to 3 hours,” notes the Centers for Disease Control.
Holland’s family was awarded a $5 million settlement from San Luis Obispo County.
The family is using the money to create a nonprofit organization to advocate for mentally ill people in the criminal justice system.
Several San Luis Obispo County families have told similar stories of mistreatment of the mentally ill at the jail, and an FBI civil rights investigation is currently ongoing.
Twelve inmates have died while in the San Luis Obispo County Jail since January 2012, which is nearly three times the national average.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson admitted in August 2017 that the county bears some responsibility for Holland’s death, refused to say if any county employee was disciplined over Holland’s death.