Opinion » Letters

Not a 'natural' death



I am shocked by Sheriff Ian Parkinson’s statement concerning the death of Andrew Holland. The sheriff states in his report 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.”

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!

The sheriff’s statement is absurd and blatantly trying to deceive us from the truth.

That big clot (5 centimeters) most probably came from Andrew’s legs after being restrained by straps and causing blood to pool, creating a clot, which, when he was finally released from the chair, made its way to his right lung and killed him. The clot was caused by the cruel torture of this young man. As an RN, I am appalled at the care he received. In hospitals, restraint policies are extremely strict—a last resort, no matter the circumstance. This young man should have been at a mental health facility.

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

I extend my sympathy to Andrew’s family. The family needs to take legal action so this can never happen again. The grand jury, the District Attorney, the Board of Supervisors, and all authorities above the sheriff and county jail need to investigate and hold responsible the incompetent entities and humans who killed this young man.

-- Nancy Dahl - Los Osos

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