CA Deputies Watched Inmate Die, Video Shows

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A jailhouse video shows California sheriff’s deputies watching and sometimes laughing as a schizophrenic man, who had been strapped naked to a chair for 46 hours, writhes on the floor of his cell, loses consciousness and eventually dies, The Guardian reports. The San Luis Obispo Tribune on Friday posted a nearly eight-minute video of Andrew Holland’s death on Jan. 22, 2017. The newspaper said it reviewed more than 100 hours of jailhouse surveillance video. Wade Horton, a San Luis Obispo County administrative officer, called the footage “extremely painful to watch.” He said, “What happened to Andrew Holland was a tragedy that impacts our entire community.”

Last year, the county awarded Holland’s family $5 million for his death, which a medical examiner determined was caused by a pulmonary embolism. Authorities have since stopped using the restraint chair, but Sheriff Ian Parkinson would not say whether anyone had been disciplined. Holland, 36, had schizophrenia since his early 20s and was incarcerated on and off over the years, usually for minor offenses. He was taken into custody in 2015 on charges of battery, resisting an officer and probation violations. He was strapped into the chair after repeatedly hitting himself. The video shows sheriff’s deputies periodically entering his cell to rotate his arms and legs and offer him food and water. County policy requires rotating a restrained inmate’s extremities every one to two hours to prevent blood clots that can lead to a fatal embolism. Holland was released from the chair and moved to another cell so human waste that collected under his chair could be cleaned up. In the other cell, he lies on a tile floor with just a blanket. He stands up briefly, appears to be stricken by tremors and lies down again, covering himself with the blanket. Soon after, he appears to have trouble breathing, then loses consciousness.

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