Protesters rally over torture death at the SLO County Jail

March 18, 2018

Dozens of protesters gathered Saturday afternoon outside the San Luis Obispo courthouse seeking the resignation of Sheriff Ian Parkinson and District Attorney Dan Dow. The rally follows the release of a video that confirmed earlier CalCoastNews reports regarding the death of Andrew Holland.

For years, the sheriff’s department has violated California laws regarding the treatment of mentally ill inmates, according to state reports. After Holland began harming himself, deputies strapped him naked in a restraint chair where Holland remained for 46 hours. Holland died shortly after deputies released him from the chair and dumped him on the cement floor of the drunk tank, from a blood clot that traveled from his leg to his lung.

Following Holland’s death, in an apparent coverup, the the sheriff’s department disbursed false information including that Holland likely died of respiratory arrest, that Holland was continually under a physicians care, that his department followed state laws regarding the treatment of the mentally ill and that medical staff had ordered that Holland remain in the chair.

As part of the ongoing protest, the SLO Progressives plan to have volunteers sit in a chair with a helmet for 46 hours to symbolize the last days of Holland’s life. The protesters are asking attendees to sign a petition demanding Parkinson step down.

San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon, who failed for months to comment on civil rights violations at the jail and the death of Holland, which was first reported by CCN more than a year ago, appeared to chastise other elected officials for not attending the rally sponsored by a political group she co-founded, the SLO County Progressives. Harmon also voiced fears for her safety because of her attendance at the rally.

“I also want to thank my fellow council member, Andy Pease, for being the only other elected official out of hundreds of local officials to be here today,” Harmon said. “It takes courage. So I appreciate that. So if they come after us, I will at least have a buddy.”

Last summer, Harmon sought police protection after a gay pride flag that was hanging on the roof of her porch was stolen, placed in the gutter and torched.


We often get so emotional when it comes to torture, especially when it happens in our own sweet little town at the hands of our “finest” law enforcement personnel. In light of that, let me state a few obvious facts that are not up for interpretation or debate. After stating the simple, historical facts, I’ll then offer MY OPINION as to what should be done:

1. Andrew Holland died as a result of a blood clot that formed in his leg.

2. Restraint chairs, like the one Holland spent his last 2 days on earth in are NOT designed to be used for days, because things like blood clots form….which are often deadly.

3. The staff at the jail did not follow their own procedures. They did not follow basic medical guidelines. This can’t be blamed on “under staffing” or “lack of training.” How many people reading this know that on long airplane flights you should get up and move around so as to avoid blood clots? Pretty much everyone. This is the level of medical education needed to realize that 46 hours in a chair is dangerous. I’ll bet my entire net worth that everyone in that jail knew this basic fact.

4. The staff laughed at Holland as he was dying and after he had died

5. No one working at the jail has been reprimanded, let alone fired.

6. The SLO county jail has the highest per capita death rate in the nation.

7. Ian Parkinson did not fire anyone, demote anyone, or change personnell at the jail following a long string of deaths.

8. Dan Dow has not brought charges for torture and/or wrongful death/manslaughter against anyone who was responsible for Holland’s death.

The above statements are simply facts of record.

Now, what should be done?

Criminal charges against the jail staff. All of them.

Criminal charges against Parkinson, including accessory to murder, criminal neglect and deriliction of duty..

Investigate Dan Dow and find out what his communications were with Parkinson over this matter. Dow may be criminally complicit as well.

Imagine if Andrew Holland had tied up Sheriff Parkinson in the chair and Parkinson had died of an embolism. If the tables were turned what crimes would Andrew Holland be charged with?

Those are the same crimes the jail staff should be charge with!!! Wake up people. Wake the $%CK up!!

Lastly, let me comment on the “There was no room in mental health” crap. Are those of you who think Holland’s death was a result of there not being enough “beds” at Mental Health trying to say that the only place Holland could be put was in the chair?

Really? There was no room for him anywhere but in the chair? Shame on you.

George Bailey

Ladies & Gentlemen,

I agree with Mr. Doc T!

This whole sordid affair is a stain on civil society, and Ian Parkinson ought to be taken into custody while the death of Andrew Holland is investigated. Moreover, the law enforcement staff at the prison ought to be investigated and criminally charged as appropriate, as well. Enough of putting up with local government corruption.

Voters owe it to the memory of Andrew Holland to throw so-called Sheriff Parkinson out-of-office, and casting a vote to re-elect this person would signal that the people we put in his care don’t matter, and ‘official murder’ will be swept under the rug.

Lastly, SLO County Sheriff’s Spokesperson Tony Cupola participated with Parkinson in intentionally misleading the taxpaying public and local media about the circumstances of Mr. Hollands death, so he must be removed from his office as well. Lastly, SLO Cunty District Attorney Dan Dow needs to be investigated for what role he played in helping to cover-up the murder of Andrew Holland.

If a civil grand jury ever had a reason to investigate a local situation, this one begs out to be looked at, for just imagine if it was your loved one who was treated this way.

Mr. George Bailey

Prosecute Parkinson

Investigate Cupola & Dow

Discipline the Incompetent Jail Staffers

Stop the Lies & Cover-up

fat chance

Whoever down voted this, is an idiot…..everything Doc t said is true.


Could not have said it better. No one should ever be treated this way.


Well said, DocT!


Of course Harmon was there. That’s her m.o. — the queen of propaganda and social media. Substance is a bit difficult for her. Unless you agree with her 100%, she’s not your friend, either.


How many more people are going to be killed at the hands of “law enforcement officers?

How many more cops like Corey Pierce?

Happy Happy City? Yah right.

Progressive? Oh, I get it know. It means that the community keeps getting progressively worse everyday.


There weren’t other elected officials there, most likely, because they’re smart enough to stay out of this and let the process take its course. There’s no point in Mayor Harmon injecting herself in this issue. She’s got plenty on her hands as it is.


It’s all part of Parkinson’s anti-crime strategy. Based on the way prisoners are treated, I’m going re-double my efforts not to break the law. Hey Parkinson, come out to Los Osos and rid us of the roaming midnight meth-heads.


Protests and all that go with them may be nice and make one ‘feel’ good; but until we, as the voters in this county, accept the responsibility for who we decide to vote into office – then nothing will really change.

Regarding this total and overwhelming disregard for a human life and the pointing of fingers at others to ‘save’ one’s own skin can not be acceptable for anyone that calls themselves a person.

You can call it whatever you like; slap as much lipstick on the pig as you want ( it will still be a pig) – the tape that was released proves that Ian Parkinson lied; Tony Cipola lied; Dan Dow lied; and anyone else that put out the same story lied.

Isn’t well past the time to hold our elected officials to the standards that they swore to when they took the office?? Or is this just one more example of what we, as a nation, as a state, as a county; even as human beings have become accustomed to and accept as the ‘new’ normal. May God help us all!!!


The voters in this county have elected those who they feel best suited for the job. The judges who let criminals walk on chicken shit “plea bargains”, the progressives who vote in the likes Gibson and Hill. You’re wallowing in your own dung SLO county, now live with it and quit belly aching.


All of them should be tarred and feathered. But far too many of the citizens of SLO county are compliant, supine sheep…therefore this is allowed to continue


JB Bronson

It’s time Ian. There is a chance to leave on your own terms, rather than get run off.

Amongst your own, you acted like you were better than; above the rest of us. Welcome to the human race. The culture at the S.O. starts and stops with you. It’s time.


Mayor Harmon must not have realized that the protest coincided with the best weekend of the march madness tournament. Give the council members a pass.


Those progressives really think they are someone, what would make MS Heidi think that she is OK by doing this, she’ll probly have flat tires on her bike, her car, her dog poisened and rocks thru her windows, this isn’t going to be apretty picture for her.

But that aside Ian looks to be in deep do do, what went on there at the jail isn’t right by a long shot, too many lies and too much cover up, the buck stops at his desk.


Looks like the protest was at least 15 or 20 strong.


Can you point out exactly, and yes I mean exactly, who the “progressives” are in the crowd of protestors? And I guess the “lookie–loos” milling around are what, “conservatives”? This is exactly why nothing ever gets done about BS like this; we get all tribal and pick political sides rather than joining together and putting a stop to it.


Yes. Exactly and I mean exactly, Mayor Harmon, Andy Pease and anyone belonging to the slo progressives, the political group that sponsored the rally.


Leave it to the “damn progressives” to call attention to this kind of BS, right?

If it was up to the almighty “conservatives” it would not only be ignored but more than likely condoned, after all it was just another mentally ill person, like those the most of you belittle and demonize just about every chance y’all “conservatives” get. Shall I bring up old posts on other topics that speak of the mentally ill? There are plenty of them that show the “conservative” apathy that is rampant with CCN’s “conservative” readers.

I bet ya if Andrew was a person of color or his citizenship was in question the bunch of you would not only not care but there would be high 5’s all around for a “job well done” by our law enforcement.

Your hypocrisy reeks..


I was speaking about ms heidi and her bud andy, not the others that were there, I have no idea where the rest stand.


Thanks for clearing that up…

I just wish we could leave the politics out of this kind of crap, recognize that someone’s life and liberty isn’t a political football that can be kicked around at the expense of those like Andrew, and stop this kind of treatment on any of our citizens.

If you look past the politics for a minute all you’d see are people out there trying to get something done, trying to act out their rights to free speech and assembly, that’s all! If you joined them do you think it would matter one wit if you’re Republican, Democrat or identified yourself as a member of any other political party? Do you think anyone would actually ask? I doubt it very much.

Wrong is wrong, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on…


Your post above does not leave politics out of the matter and, like it or not, this was a rally attended by politicians sponsored by a political group. What those of you so interested in politics don’t admit is that politics always co-opts causes for its own benefit, not for the benefit of the cause.


The “political” was already breached, all I did was respond to it, that’s all.

I don’t disagree with you by-the-way, politicians see a “silver lining” in anything, and if they spin just about anything in the right direction and they’ll benefit from it.