Fact checking SLO County’s jail death narrative

August 29, 2017

Sheriff Ian Parkinson

While San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson admits to having some responsibility for the death of a mentally ill man at the county jail, he continues to promote a disputed narrative of the events that led to Andrew Holland’s death. [Cal Coast Times]

During a SLO County Board of Supervisor meeting last week, county officials discussed possible changes to jail and mental health policies and procedures. While county officials said they plan to improve inmate care through policy changes, critics questioned the county’s accounting of events and alleged failures to hold staffers responsible.

On Jan. 20, deputies strapped Holland naked in a restraint chair in the jail’s drunk tank where he remained until shortly before his death, two days later. During that time, deputies failed to provide Holland with adequate food and water or allow him to use a restroom.

Nevertheless, county officials have not mounted an investigation or reprimanded staffers accused of torture or neglect in the death of Holland.

Near the end of last week’s board meeting, Super visor Debbie Arnold made a motion to direct staff to explore the possibility of contracting with a private company to provide mental, medical, and dental care to jail inmates. The board unanimously approved the motion.

Read entire article at Cal Coast Times.


192. Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. It is of three kinds:

(a) Voluntary–upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.

(b) Involuntary–in the commission of an unlawful act, not

amounting to felony; or in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and circumspection. This subdivision shall not apply to acts committed in the driving of a vehicle.

(c) Vehicular–

Recap: PC 192. Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice…

(b) Involuntary–in the commission of an unlawful act, not

amounting to felony; OR in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death… WITHOUT DUE CAUTION and circumspection.

Just Sayn.


We need an outside independent criminal investigation into the torture and killing of Andrew Holland and the many other deaths at the San Luis Obispo Sheriffs Department Jail. Bringing in the FBI to investigate for civil rights violations will amount to nothing as usual. The FBI has its own sordid history regarding torture and killing along with an extensive history of whitewashing law enforcement misconduct and protecting the system no matter how egregious the crime. So when a brazen Sheriff Parkinson or Dan Dow invites Federal authorities to examine Sheriff department misconduct they are right to be confident with a favorable outcome. What better organization than the FBI could you possibly invite to cover up law enforcement torture and killing? The decision not to release jail video and the speed to which the 5 million dollar settlement went to Hollands parents is a clear indicator of federal level damage control. What misdemeanor was Andrew Holland sentenced to death for anyway? Right now seems like a good time to disallow this kind of treatment from the local level on up since the federal example lacks reason and deviates impulsively from the confines of any law. Open a local criminal investigation and keep justice relevant and in the courtroom.

Blessings to the Holland family – what a horrible ordeal.


The people of this county should be OUTRAGED. Anyone that has had to deal with the jail from the inside or the outside quickly surmises that these are not nice people. Pompous, rude and arrogant as they hide behind their badges. Parkinson should be prosecuted for murder and his henchman as accessories to this heinous crime. Our spineless DA would rather chase old ladies at polling places than enforce the law. The gutless Board of Supervisors should be DEMANDING an immediate resignation and a full investigation of this incident and the 10 other deaths that have occurred. RELEASE THE TAPE!!!!!


I knew that would be your reply “that was one thing.”. That’s all it takes.


I don’t have a problem with having SWAT teams and equipment available in proportion to a realistically anticipated need (not want). One should be enough for SLO County and maybe even northern SB County.

What I have a problem with is some attitudes towards non-cops: that we are not due respect unless we have political pull; that the default approach to a citizen should be aggressiveness until the cop knows that we present no threat beyond a shadow of a doubt; that people can be stereotyped for different treatment by race, age, sex, etc. without evidence of their actions or intentions; that police officers themselves get little or no punishment for treating people in ways that those same people would end up in jail for had they done the same.

Police get pretty good pay and excellent benefits given their level of training. I don’t have a problem with that as long as they do their job right because it is a demanding job. One of those demands is acceptance of a certain level of risk. Stereotyping and other abuses of authority to reduce those risks is not acceptable. If they have to resort to that, they should find another occupation that does not give them the authority of the government. (Private security police are paid proportionate to their responsibilities.)


DocT. Waco tx, North Hollywood BofA shootout. I could go on an on but you are so out of touch you are not worth anymore of my time.


Aye….the North Hollywood shootout. Nothing like it has happened since. That was one thing, back in the 1980’s Early 90’s?

Waco? You mean the one where the government torched the compound and burned everyone up in order to save the kids? After they burned the kids?

I’m not the least bit convinced by your assertions. Can you come up with anymore?

Why do cops need tanks and armored vehicles?

fat chance

Actually,I am pro police. This one incident really set me off…I just can’t understand how they could watch this poor guy suffer.

fat chance

I just can’t get over what they did to that kid. Can you imagine what that felt like to sit two days strapped naked in the chair with no food or water. I rather be water boarded. Five million wasn’t near enough punishment. Somebody should be headed to prison……


“”Somebody should be headed to prison.””

Not according to the police-worshipping religion that most Americans belong to. Police are above the law. They must be above the law if they are to stay safe while enforcing the laws upon the serfs.

Legally speaking, police are granted general immunity for crimes they commit in the line of duty. If they solicit a prostitute…..no crime. If we do, we go to jail. (never tried it myself, but I know it to be true)

If we brandish a firearm and tell someone to STFU and get face down on the hot pavement, we’ll go to jail for a long time. Cops do this and then go out for beers afterwards. It’s part of their job.

If we wear body armor, we go to jail.

If we speed, we get a ticket.

You get the picture. We, The People have created this problem. We fund it. We pretend they’re “mostly good guys.” We are brainwashed into thinking that police need to armed like the military to protect themselves from all the violent, militarized criminals on the streets.

Well, I challenge anyone to find a story about militarized criminals in America. There aren’t any. We live in a police state. It’s our fault.

It’s gonna get much worse.


I think that their are more good cops out there than you are willing to recognize. The problem is that, for whatever reason, they don’t seem to be able to rein in the bad ones. I also think the problems are much less in some agencies than others. Leadership is certainly a big factor but agency size and even salaries can have an effect on the quality of personnel within a police force too.

Change is needed in many places but lets not generalize the problems to places and people where they don’t exist (or rarely occur.)

Jorge Estrada

I will not through anyone to the wolves in this case. It is certainly unfortunate that mentally ill people become victims as is the case for an assault victim who gets cross examined to the point of feeling it’s their fault. The voters allowed the County Hospital to be shut down, so now we have incremental help as needed but unfortunately, just like on our highways, someone has to die before it gets fixed. Yes I’m drop dead serious about death first, that is what we have allowed to become the norm. The blame game is for money, that’s it in a nut shell, just accept it and move on. Personal verbal attacks will not hide the truth.


I don’t care what policy changes they enact, or how many new beds are available in Mental Health.

Holland’s death was not the result of policy. It was not the result of a lack of space at mental health…..no! He died because of blood clots forming in his leg(s), breaking free and becoming a pulmonary embolism. Extra mental health beds don’t cause blood clots to form…..but keeping people strapped in a chair for two days does!

Everyone knows this, BTW. This doesn’t take special training to understand.

Holland died because of cruel, inhumane treatment and a calloused, contemptible disregard for human life on the part of the jail staff.

No amount of training, or policy can fix people who are cruel and do not regard human life as anything more than something to be mocked and tortured.

That fact that no one has been held accountable or disciplined, let alone prosecuted for this action isn’t a surprise to me at all.

Nobles are not punished for killing serfs. Never has this been the case.

No reform is possible, as the foxes are guarding the henhouse now. Our only recourse and path to reform is to make sure that our children do not become police. Make sure that being a cop is being a pariah. Only then will things change.

Because short of that, you and I pay their salary, whether they torture us and kill us or not….we still pay.


I agreed with you up until the last 2 paragraphs. Changing the problems in our law enforcement agencies isn’t going to happen by discouraging decent young men and women from becoming cops. (Unless you want to eliminate police forces entirely which brings a whole new set of problems with it.)

We do need to stop giving automatic approval to anything and everything police do/say unless the evidence against them is overwhelming. They need to be held to standards of public behavior at least as high as any other citizen. We need to demand that top LEOs be sure that their subordinates are properly trained and monitored — and punished when they screw up. That means keeping on top of elected officials from city councils to state legislature. A Grand Jury with some real authority and independence or a Citizens’ Oversight Committee would be helpful as well.

George Bailey


Sheriff Ian Parkinson is a dirty politician, and he is directly culpable in the torture death of Andrew Holland. For a simple, non-violent crime, Mr. Holland was given the death penalty by Ian Parkinson, and, as far as I am concerned, Sheriff Parkinson is a murderer.

Worse, Sheriff Parkinson and the San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors continue to cover-up this crime, and not one of them has explained why the video tape of Andrew Holland has not been made public? I have it on good account that the tape shows his jailers torturing him and mocking him verbally while he pleads for his life and requests water. Is this what Sheriff Parkinson is hiding?

Why hasn’t the SLO Board of Supervisors ordered an investigation into who tortured and taunted Mr. Holland? We know the video will reveal indefensible actions by the sheriff’s buddies, because why else would the SLO BOS’s approve a $5 million dollar settlement to Mr. Hollands family?

As a taxpayer who normally strongly supports law & order and our police officers, I am EXTREMELY disappointed in the actions of Sheriff Parkinson, his involved underlings and the board of supervisors. We deserve answers and accountability, and a move to outsource mental health services to mentally ill prisoners is simply an attempt to deflect hiding our law enforcement professionals accountable for their egregious behavior.

We deserve better.


Indict Sheriff Parkinson


That’s what government agencies do for each other, cover up, the old you scratch my back two step. Anything to keep the money flowing and the salaries, benefits and pensions intact.

Niles Q

Holland was originally arrested for battery on an Atascadero Police officer. He was convicted and was serving his sentence in County Jail when he attacked a jail officer, for which he was back in court on new battery on an officer charges.

The judge ordered him turned over to County Mental Health for that second case, and that never happened.

Instead he was strapped in that chair and left there to die.

I don’t care what the policies and procedures are, any jackass can figure out that making someone sit for 46 hours in a chair unable to move, restrained at the feet, arms and chest, is dangerous and inhumane.

I agree with the posters here. Someone at that Jail is a sadistic bastard and needs to be fired and then prosecuted.

And if Parkinson knew what was happening, he must resign, and if he won’t do that, then the voters need to send him packing come next November.