Letters to the Editor

Death of SLO County Jail inmate reveals incompetent and cruel treatment

Andrew Chaylon Holland, pictured here in a 2015 family photograph, died Jan. 22 after a blood clot formed after he was restrained in a chair for nearly two days in San Luis Obispo County Jail.
Andrew Chaylon Holland, pictured here in a 2015 family photograph, died Jan. 22 after a blood clot formed after he was restrained in a chair for nearly two days in San Luis Obispo County Jail.

I am shocked by Sheriff Ian Parkinson’s statement concerning the death of Andrew Holland. The sheriff states that though the “seated position, dehydration, and self-injury were all possibly contributory to the cause of death, the formation of the intrapulmonary embolism was a natural response in the body.”

The sheriff’s statement is absurd and blatantly trying to deceive us from the obvious truth: Yes, death is a “natural” response to being inhumanely held immobile in a chair for 46 hours! It is also a “natural response in the body” to die from a murderer’s bullet.

That big clot came from Andrew’s legs after being restrained by straps, causing blood to pool, which, when he was finally released from the chair, and the vein opened up, the clot made its way from his leg, through his heart, and straight into his right lung, killing him.

As an registered nurse, I am appalled at the care he received. In hospitals, restraint policies are extremely strict — a last resort. In fact, Andrew didn’t receive “care” … he received torture.

Sheriff Parkinson even calls this chair a “safety chair.” It might as well have been an electric chair.

I extend my sympathy to Andrew Holland’s family and sincerely hope their legal case against the County Jail and the sheriff will prevail so this incompetent and cruel treatment, which caused Andrew’s death, will never happen to anyone else.

Nancy Dahl, Los Osos

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