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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Call to Action Ref: Death of Ethan Saylor

The National Down Syndrome Society and National Down Syndrome Congress have put out a joint Call to Action regarding a push for an Independent Investigation into the death of (Robert) Ethan Saylor.

Mr Saylor's family still does not have justice for Ethan. There are unanswered questions surrounding his death five months ago. Question such as why he had a crushed larynx.Why did the situation escalate so quickly when Ethan's support person had re-entered the theater and was trying to intervene. Why couldn't the officer's have waited several minutes for Ethan's mom who was on her way?

From the joint release:
There has been much speculation about the details surrounding Ethan's tragic death since it occurred. The only way to get a complete understanding of what occurred so that appropriate measures can be taken with regard to those involved, is through an independent investigation. The Frederick County Sheriff and State's Attorney have already expressed their views that having Down syndrome was the sole contributor to Mr. Saylor's death, rather than the security guards' responses to Mr. Saylor, an individual with Down syndrome.  

Please email, fax, and/or call Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland to demand an independent investigation into the death of Ethan Saylor. 

Call Script Talking Points
Governor Martin O'Malley
Toll-Free 800-811-8336
Office:  410-974-3901   

·         Hello, I am (state name and where you live). I am a (parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt/uncle, teacher, friend) of a person with Down syndrome. I am (writing or calling) about Ethan Saylor, a man with Down syndrome who died while at The Regal Westview Movie Theaters in Frederick, Maryland in January.

·         I am requesting an independent investigation into Ethan's death, so the facts can come out and those responsible can be appropriately prosecuted.

·         While waiting for his support staff to retrieve their car after the movie, Ethan decided he wanted to remain for another showing. He verbalized to the Officers his intent to remain and refused to leave his seat. The Officers attempted to physically remove him from the theater. He was restrained face-down by three plain-clothes officers moonlighting as mall security. Ethan died from asphyxiation from a crushed larynx while handcuffed. His senseless and avoidable death was ruled a homicide by the Maryland Medical Examiner. The Frederick County Sheriff's Office (FCSO) and The Office of the Frederick County State's Attorney neglected to conduct a thorough investigation of the facts involving the case. A Grand Jury was convened but failed to hand down an indictment against the officers involved.

·      Despite the Sheriff's own public comment that the internal investigation has been completed and the officers have returned to full duty, the FCSO refuses to release investigation results to the family's attorney, despite numerous written requests.  Ethan's death was senseless and entirely avoidable.  

[Insert contact information] 

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Kerri Ames said...

I am still awed that his family cannot receive the peace they deserve. Thank you for not letting us forget.

He deserves so much more

Alice Fraggle said...

I've been a lurker for awhile on your blog, but I wanted to let you know that I've contacted Governor O'Malley. I live in Frederick, and I go to movies in that theater, and I cannot believe how this was (mis)handled! Thank you for continuing to post about this tragedy.