San Luis Obispo County

Holland family reacts to SLO County Sheriff's Office refusal to release video of jail death

Holland family reacts to SLO County...

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - The Holland family's phones have been busy since we saw them last week at the press conference where they described the horrors of what happened to their son.

"What we've learned through these phone calls is that there's a general sense that there's such injustice dealing with the mentally ill," explains Carty Holland, father of Andrew. 

In order to change that, at that same conference their attorney Paula Canny suggested the media give the sheriff's office a public records request to release the video that documents the last 48 hours of Andrew's life, 46 of those were spent tied to a restraint chair. 

The Hollands have seen parts of the video. "It's a shocking tape and revealing tape about what needs to be changed within the system," says Sharon Holland, mother of Andrew. 

But we hit a roadblock after filing the public records request. The sheriff's office says: 

The video recording is exempt from public disclosure pursuant to Government Code section 6254, subdivision (f), subdivision (k), and the California Constitution’s right to privacy. In this regard, the specific video you have requested is a record of a jail surveillance video recording of a local law enforcement agency used for “correctional purposes” within the meaning of subdivision (f) of section 6254. The records are also exempt under Government Code section 6254, subdivision (k) and the California Medical Information Act and the California Constitution, both of which protect an individual’s right to privacy."

The Hollands say they are surprised the county could make such a decision about their son when they are his conservators and have already signed paperwork dealing with issues of privacy in order to receive other documents from the county.
"There wasn't really any concern for his privacy in the last 46 and a half hours of his life while he was strapped to a restraint chair, naked - defecated on himself, urinated on himself, in a glass room in full view of the whole custodial staff and administrative staff.. Where was your concern for privacy there?," Carty asks.
The Hollands believe this video is important in order to ensure the changes that were promised actually happen in the jail.
They argue Andrew would have wanted this released if it was going to help other people.
"It will take that kind of shock before the public will insist on the kind of systemic changes that are necessary," Sharon says. 

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