Warning: this article contains images readers may find distressing
Harrowing footage, showing police officers allegedly laughing as a schizophrenic prisoner lay dying, has been released online.
In the video, you see California sheriff’s deputies watching on as the man – named as Andrew Holland, who’d reportedly been strapped naked to a chair – writhing around on the floor of his cell, losing consciousness and dying.
The clip, which was obtained by The Tribune of San Luis Obispo, is extremely uncomfortable to watch as it shows the last 46 hours of the inmate’s life, but has now been removed due to it’s content.
The video begins on January 20, last year, with Holland hitting himself in his cell, in solitary confinement. He was moved away from the cell at 6.31pm the same day.
Holland was then strapped naked to a chair, for what the video says was for 46 hours. It also says the chair ‘prevented any movement of his arms and legs’.
A helmet was placed on the inmate and he was given ‘little food and water’ while he was strapped to the chair.
It gets worse. During this time, Holland was not dressed, or covered up and he wasn’t taken to use the toilet.
After moving Holland to a neighbouring cell while they cleaned up ‘urine and faeces’ from the floor, they unstrapped him from the chair.
The smiling officers leave Holland on the floor with no clothes, just a blanket. This, the video states, is where a distressed Holland spends the last hour of his life.
Thirty-six minutes after he was released from the constraints of the chair, Holland struggled to breathe. Deputies watch on through the glass but don’t enter until he loses consciousness.
As paramedics perform CPR on Holland, officers appear to be in a jovial mood and can be seen laughing as the poor man is dying on the floor in front of them.
Holland, who’d been treated in the most appalling of ways, was pronounced dead at 5.36pm on January 22, 2017.
The Sheriff’s Office reportedly released a press release at the time saying Holland ‘was found unconscious and unresponsive’ in the cell and ‘at the time of his death, Holland was under the care of a physician’.
According to local media reports, sheriff Ian Parkinson and ‘other county officials’ have ‘refused’ to answer questions about why Holland was left restrained in a chair for so long, without any breaks.
The prisoner’s parents believe the county has covered up ‘incompetence and mismanagement’ which they believe caused their son’s death.
It’s been reported, again by The Tribune of San Luis Obispo, Holland’s parents donated $50,000 to the ‘campaigns of two candidates running in June against Parkinson and District Attorney Dan Dow, who declined to investigate Holland’s death’.
The county has reportedly destroyed the restraint chair and ‘permanently banned their use’.