Andrew Holland died after being strapped naked to a chair in a jail cell for 46 hours, and now a disturbing video has been released showing his final moments as guards laughed at the mentally ill man.
Holland was being held in the San Luis Obispo County Jail in September 2015 for a series of small offenses including battery and a probation violation, the New York Daily News reported. Because Holland suffered from schizophrenia and was striking himself, staff at the jail strapped him to a chair naked, where he was left for close to two days. Holland would die at the end of those two days, and a controversial new video obtained by the Tribune of San Luis Obispo shows his final moments.
The video is part of a pattern of abuse and neglect that families of inmates have alleged takes place at the county jail. As the Tribune reported, 12 inmates have died in custody at the jail since the start of 2012, a rate nearly three times the national average.
In the video, deputies could be seen removing Holland from the chair and cleaning his waste, as he was left to go to the bathroom still strapped to the chair. He was taken to a different cell where he was unable to stand on his own, then lost consciousness as guards watched from outside the cell.
As the New York Daily News noted, officers could be seen chatting and joking with one another as paramedics tended to the mortally ill man. Holland was declared dead on the floor of his cell one hour after he was taken out of the chair.
But as the report noted, the video told a much different story than the official police report, which claimed that Holland was unconscious when officers first came to unstrap him from the chair. The family of Andrew Holland had sued the county for his death and was awarded $5 million in a settlement. As the New York Daily News reported, the family plans to use the money to create a non-profit organization that advocates for people with mental illness in the criminal justice system.
Holland’s death has drawn national attention and became part of a larger discussion about the treatment of inmates and people in police custody. Many have called for justice for Holland’s death, beyond the family’s settlement.
The full video of Andrew Holland’s death can be seen here, but be warned that it may be upsetting to some viewers.