Robert Ethan Saylor, a 26 year old young man with Down syndrome, died on January 12th at a movie theater in Frederick, Maryland, while being restrained by three off-duty sheriff’s deputies. While his death was ruled a homicide, there have been no charges. Ethan’s sister, Emma Saylor made a call for answers in the Washington Post upon which I could not improve. There are also a plethora of passionate bloggers. I cannot add to their outrage. Get it straight from the Saylor Family at Justice for Ethan.com.
What can I do?
Sign a petition
There is a petition on change.org, by Special Needs Network, appealing directly to Sheriff Charles Jenkins, Frederick County Police Department and J. Charles Smith, III, Office of State’s Attorney for Frederick County.
There is another petition on the same site by Down Syndrome Uprising, addressed to Doug Gansler, Attorney General of Maryland.
This petition, also on change.org started by Emma Saylor herself appeals directly to the Governor of Maryland.
The Down syndrome communities across the country continue to call for an independent investigation into the homicide of Mr. Saylor. In a recent action alert from the NDSC and NDSS , while commending Governer O’Malley for establishing a commission for “Effective Community Inclusion of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Maryland,” still calls for people to contact the Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland to continue to ask for an independent investigation.
On October 17, 2013 the Saylor family filed a civil suit (correction to the linked article: Ethan’s asphyxiation was NOT “brought on by his Down syndrome”) in Baltimore, Maryland against the sheriff’s county deputies, Westview Regal Cinemas and others for the wrongful death of Ethan as well as a violation of his civil rights.
Spread the word
Share these links with everyone. The media, by and large, have dropped the ball on this story.
SVDSN has dedicated the 2013 Bay Area Buddy Walk to the memory of Robert Ethan Saylor.