WATCH: California Jail Inmate Died Naked on The Floor as Deputies Watched

Andrew Holland sits restrained to a chair in a San Luis Obispo County Jail holding cell on Jan. 21, 2017, about 16 hours after being placed in the chair by Sheriff’s deputies.

California – After releasing an inmate who’d been bound naked in a restraint chair for 46 hours, sheriff’s deputies at the San Luis Obispo County Jail watched as the man writhed on the floor, lost consciousness and later died, video obtained by The Tribune shows.

The footage contradicts county officials’ version of events leading to the death of inmate Andrew Holland in January 2017.

The Atascadero resident was pronounced dead on the floor of his holding cell at 5:36 p.m. on Jan. 22, 2017, roughly one hour after he was released following nearly two full days strapped to a plastic restraint chair, The Tribune’s review of more than 100 hours of jail surveillance footage confirmed.

The county’s medical examiner ruled Holland’s cause of death as “natural” due to an pulmonary embolism, when a blood clot in his leg traveled to his lung.

The video from that day shows deputies watching from outside the cell as Holland writhes on the floor, struggles to breathe and loses consciousness. Some deputies are captured laughing at several points throughout the footage.

Contrary to the county’s account of the incident, the video shows that Holland wasn’t “found unconscious and unresponsive” and was not “under the continual care of a physician” at the time.

In an email Thursday, County Administrative Officer Wade Horton called the video “extremely painful to watch.”

“What happened to Andrew Holland was a tragedy that impacts our entire community,” Horton wrote. “Although we can’t bring Andrew back, our county has made and continues to make changes in response to this terrible event.”

Such reforms Horton listed include banning the restraint chair, hiring a independent contractor to audit county procedures, and adopted the Stepping Up initiative, a sweeping plan that reduces the number of mental ill in the jail.

In July, Holland’s family was awarded a $5 million settlement from the county, which it is using to form a nonprofit to advocate for the mentally ill caught 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.

Since January 2012, 12 inmates have died while in custody at the jail, nearly three times the latest national average.

In August, San Luis Obispo County denied The Tribune and other media outlets’ public records requests for the Sheriff’s Office’s video of Holland’s time in the restraint chair. The requests were rejected due to medical and personnel confidentiality as well as jail security issues.

Sheriff Ian Parkinson in August acknowledged that the county bears some responsibility for Holland’s death, but Horton would not answer Thursday whether any county employee has faced discipline over Holland’s death.

Holland, 36, had suffered from schizophrenia since his early 20s and had been in and out of County Jail on low-level offenses.

He was last booked into the jail Sept. 30, 2015, for battery, resisting an officer and probation violations.

According to court records and his family, much of his next 15 months was spent inside a cramped isolation cell with just enough room for a thin mattress, toilet and sink as his court cases progressed and he continued to have scuffles with jail staff.

Jail video shows Holland striking himself in the face while sitting on his bed in the isolation cell around 6 p.m. on Jan. 20. Blood can be seen pooling on his mattress.

At about 6:30 p.m., a group of riot-armor-clad deputies and what appears to be jail medical staff transport a naked Holland face-down on a gurney to the jail’s main intake area and into a glass-door cell used to house intoxicated inmates.

For full story visit: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/investigations/article205363229.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5620 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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