Sheriff Parkinson finds no wrongdoing in death of inmate

April 13, 2017

Sheriff Ian Parkinson


There are multiple reports, logs and press releases documenting Andrew Holland’s time in county custody and his death, many of which include conflicting information. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Department staffers appear to be manipulating the truth in order to support the sheriff’s claim that Holland died from natural causes.

On Jan. 20, deputies strapped Holland naked in a restraint chair in the frigid drunk tank where he remained until shortly before his death, two days later, according to jail records.

While in restraints, blood clots formed in the 36-year-old man’s legs. Upon his release, a blood clot traveled to his right lung causing a pulmonary embolism and his death, according to a preliminary autopsy report from Dr. Duc Van Duong, a forensic pathologist who performed a second autopsy on Holland.

In his pathological diagnosis, Van Duong noted a pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis in Holland’s legs, scarring and obesity.

A pathologist working for the San Luis Obispo County Coroner also performed an autopsy on Holland. Dr. Gary Walter concluded that Holland died from a 5-cenimeter-long blood clot that formed while Holland was strapped in a restraint chair for more than 46 hours and then moved to his lung.

The county coroner then ruled Holland’s death as natural.

In March 2016, Walter was involved in a hit-and-run on his way to perform an autopsy. While not cited for the hit and run, officers did arrest Walter for driving with a .19 blood alcohol level.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson oversees the jail, the coroner’s office and the sheriff’s department. While Parkinson has agreed that being strapped in a restraint chair for two days could have contributed to Holland’s death, he contends that a fatality from a pulmonary embolism is a natural cause of death.

Restraint chair model 1310

Nevertheless, restraint chairs have long been linked to pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal blood clot that can be caused by physical trauma followed by immobility, and the same circumstances that occurred prior to Holland’s death.

In the coroner’s report, Senor Deputy Coroner Jason Caron includes information about the Pro-Straint chair model 1310 and its features that help improve circulation and prevent blood clots which he pulled from the chair manufacture’s website.

“The 7-point harness system provides maximum security while the soft wrist and ankle restraints and an ergonomic “pocket” for each leg provide greater control without sacrificing overall circulation,” Caron includes in his report.

Restraint chair model 1200

However, deputies strapped Holland in an older Pro-Straint model, the 1200, that did not include the “soft wrist and ankle restraints and an ergonomic ‘pocket’ for each leg,” according to a 2005 receipt for the chair, the manufacturer and photos of the chair.

Several months before his death, Holland’s parents pleaded with jail medical staff to allow their schizophrenic son to take the psychiatric medications that work for him. However, at the jail, medications are not chosen because of effectiveness, but the cost, sources said.

On Jan. 10, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Duffy ordered the county to medicate Holland for his mental illness.

While Holland was strapped in the chair, county health officials refused to provide him with medications that effectively treat his illness, sources said. At the time of his death, there were no medications for schizophrenia in his body, according to the toxicology report.

Shortly after Holland’s death, the sheriff’s department sent out a press release that drastically contradicts custody records and both autopsy reports.

For example, Cipolla noted that Holland’s body showed no signs of trauma.

“There were no outward signs of trauma on Holland’s body,” Cipolla wrote in the press release.

However, Holland died with blood, scars, abrasions, bruising and swelling on his body, according to Holland’s chart and the autopsy reports.

In the six years since Ian Parkinson was sworn in as sheriff, 11 people have died while in San Luis Obispo County Jail custody, twice the number who died in the prior six years, according to the California Department of Justice. Earlier today, a 60-year-old man died in the SLO County Jail, of what staffers are again calling natural causes.


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I personal think We should Strip off Parker & Put him in the chair ,and see how he acts You Beat your Ass He would not be smiling.. Or Other Things ..

Its time for these people to wake & Grow up, You need to run your office with respect.. for the public all of US..

What is wrong with these people , … Christ! Help US Lord ..

I am more than a bit curious why the Sheriff’s dept would strap somebody NAKED to a chair for this amount of time.

What is the purpose of keeping this man naked during this ordeal? Humiliation seems like a good place to start. Which is not a accepted practices for the detained.

What protocol does the dept. have that directs them to strip inmates in this manner?

I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he was also subjected to snarling police dogs, extra loud music, and sleep deprivation– ala Abu Garab style.

The county should have published SOP (standard operating procedures) that can be reviewed.

I would be interested to see how closely their SOP’s were followed.

Dealing with the mentally ill is challenging because reason isn’t part of their calculus. But just because they are challenging doesn’t mean you get to treat them like an animal.

If someone chained their dog up for this amount of time, they’d be in jail. Not sure why the Sheriff gets a pass on this time and time again.

In other news, I have fully investigated myself and found me guilty of nothing…

How is it we still let government agencies investigate themselves and pass verdicts?

What is sorely needed is a civilian review board that can investigate these types of incidents. Sending the latest body to Santa Cruz for another law enforcement agency to dissect will just as likely result in a cover-up. Law enforcement protects it’s own. This has been demonstrated time and time again.

So, SLO, what’s next? Just more flappin’ of your lips or will you actually have a call to arms (and I don’t mean that in any manner connected to violence, of any type) and do somethin’ meaningful? Or will be it be the same old bullshit that hasn’t effected any type of change in the past?

I’m sorry I cannot be there and I have my doubts if that even matters. I don’t think the community of SLO is as informed as it should be about this kind of shit with it’s self induced ignorance; combine that with the arrogance y’all show towards “all things” and my suggestions and efforts would more than likely fall on deaf ears and into apathetic hands.

Y’all know what to do, it’s just a matter of having the spine to get it done! If you need some suggestions (none of which will be easy and will take the WHOLE CARRING community of SLO to get it done) I’ll be glad to help. If the moderator will allow my email address to be published here you can email me and I’ll respond as quickly as possible.

You should all feel a sense of urgency over this, if you don’t it will just go away and your Sheriff and his staff will never be held accountable. It is now in your hands and if approached correctly you DO have the power to effectively change this type of pure BS!

Suggestion(s)? You have a very large Cal Poly campus in your community, maybe it’s time to tap them for both their support and suggestions. Also, if the Christian Community doesn’t step up and become front-line activists and supporters for this it’s time they preach their BS elsewhere, don’t you think?

Perhaps the people in charge of using restraint chairs should read up on proper guidelines for their usage?

I’ve researched recommended time limits on restraint chairs and nowhere have I found a restraint chair company that recommends a limit of 46 hours – not even close.

Attempts at whitewashing this case as a natural death are absurd. Attempts at pinning the blame on the Mental Health Department are absurd. The responsibility for the outcome in this case is 100% on the sheriff and his staff.

As long as jails continue to be used as a dumping ground for the mentally ill, it is solely the responsibility of the sheriff to ensure the safe keeping of these individuals for as long as they remain in custody.

From what I am seeing it looks like 2 hrs is the max with Dr approval stating the patient has no mental health conditions. There’s a pdf file online with the guidelines.

Imagine, for a moment, that Sheriff Parkinson was kidnapped and strapped to a restraint chair for two days, developed deep vein thrombosis which migrated to his lung, causing his death.

Imagine the kidnappers defense at their murder trial: “He died of natural causes….same as Holland, who was strapped into the same type of chair for 2 days. Murder charges should be dropped.” Does anyone think that defense would work? LOL!!! Of course not! Everyone knows how deep vein thrombosis occurs. Well, almost everyone. The resident drunk/coroner doesn’t know, and Parkinson doesn’t know….but everyone else does.

Holland should have been on different meds. He should not have been in that chair for that long. Again, everyone knows this…..well, almost everyone.

The problem here is simple and fundamental: Police enjoy general immunity from crimes they commit in the course of “duty.” It is a cruel, criminal act to strap a mentally ill person into a restraint chair for two days. If any one of us mundane serfs did this, we’d go to jail on several very serious charges.

But police do this all the time and get paid for it!

The modern concept of policing is thus:

Police are above the laws and must break the laws in order to enforce the same laws on us.

Until this mentality is done away with and police work goes back to investigating crime (not perpetrating crime) this sort of thing will just become more and more prevalent.

Young people! If you want a career that allows excellent salaries and benefits, one where you can injure other people for fun and break the same laws you enforce on others… a cop!

I think a civil court will think otherwise.

If this is the stance the Sheriff’s department wants to take, the parents need to sue. The jail staff violated every single medical policy and standard of care used by every other facility if they indeed did not release this young man every two hours to move around.

It likely will never make it to a civil trial. Since a payout would only be of taxpayer money and have no consequences on Sheriff Parkinson or his budget a settlement would likely be reached.

Parkinson, you lie. You swines were ordered to send the man to mental health but instead tied him in that chair for longer than you darn well know you should have. Of course you would say no wrong doing because if there was, it would be your butt behind bars along with the filth you employ. Time to flush the swamp.