Authorities have released jail surveillance footage that allegedly reveals guards laughing as they watched an inmate die on the floor of his cell after an extended period of constraint.
According to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, a naked Andrew Holland had been bound to a chair for 46 hours when he fell to the floor and died in front of deputies in January 2017.
In graphic video footage obtained exclusively by the newspaper, the mentally ill man’s ordeal is shown playing out as the officers watch from outside of the cell.
Holland reportedly suffered from a pulmonary embolism while restrained to the chair and a blood clot traveled from his leg to his lung. He contorted in agony on the floor before he stopped breathing and lost consciousness.
He was pronounced dead at the scene and a medical examination ruled he died from natural causes.
The following video contains graphic scenes that might upset some viewers. Discretion is advised.
The bombshell footage seems to disprove earlier claims that the inmate was “found unconscious and responsive” and had been “under the continual care of a physician” at the time of his medical emergency.
Reports indicate the victim’s family has pledged a $5 million settlement it received from the county to an initiative dedicated to criminal justice reform for the mentally ill.
County official Wade Horton described the footage “extremely painful” to view and called Holland’s death a “tragedy that impacts our entire community.”
The incident has caused the county to engage in ongoing evaluations of its procedures, he said.
Among the changes already underway are discontinuing of restraint chairs like the one used in this case as well as implementing new methods of addressing mentally ill individuals in the criminal justice system.
[Featured image: San Luis Obispo County Jail/video screenshot]