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Why did Robert Ethan Saylor Die: Op-Ed by James Mulvaney

WpManaging Editor's Note: Thank you Jim Mulvaney for taking an active role in protecting not only your son, but all of our children. Jim is married to author, journalist and HuffPo blogger Barbara Fischkin. I consider Barbara my writing Godmother and am always grateful for her and Jim's work.  Jim wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post about the death of a man with Down Syndrome. John Jay College also acknowledged Jim's piece - Adjunct Professor James Mulvaney’s Op-Ed on the Death of a Developmentally Disabled Man in Police Custody Published in the Washington Post.

"I am the father of a young adult with severe autism. In 2007, I joined a team of educators, health professionals, parents and law enforcement officials to create a manual for first-responders in dealing with developmentally disabled subjects. The manual was adopted by the Nassau County, N.Y., police department, and its officers received mandatory training. The manual has been distributed to departments around the country and modified for local needs...."

Why did Robert Ethan Saylor die?

By James Mulvaney, March 08, 2013

Where is the public outrage over the death of Robert Ethan Saylor, killed in January while being taken into police custody in Frederick for the crimes of petty larceny and, perhaps, disorderly conduct?

Saylor, 26, had Down syndrome, a genetic defect that can cause cognitive deficiencies, poor judgment, impulsive behavior and other issues. Unlike many other disorders, it is associated with recognizable physical traits, especially unique facial features. Photographs show Saylor to have had the classic “Down” look.

He had gone to the movies to watch “Zero Dark Thirty,” a charged film about the raid and assassination of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by Navy SEALs. Like many others who have seen this film, Saylor wanted to watch it again, so he remained in his seat when it was over. His health aide had stepped out of the theater temporarily.

When Saylor refused to leave the theater, a conflict arose, and three off-duty Frederick County sheriff’s deputies — working as freelance security guards at the shopping center where the theater is located — intervened.

Please read the rest of the article at the Washington Post website:

 

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Linda

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/17/21013299-parents-sue-deputies-in-death-of-man-with-down-syndrome-at-maryland-movie-theater?lite
"Parents sue deputies in death of man with Down syndrome at Maryland movie theater"

How could anyone look at this young man and not realize that he might not understand or be able to comply? What kind of viciousness could take him out of his wheelchair, throw him on the ground and then put weight on him, and not stop while he screams, "Mommy, mommy it hurts"?

"Although the state medical examiner declared Saylor's death a homicide, a Frederick County grand jury declined to return indictments in March. The deputies were never charged, and they have returned to duty."

What doesn't the grand jury understand about the word "homicide" and how do they get away with their failure to indict?

Denise Ferraro

My heart is broken for Robert and his family. This young man should not be dead because he wanted to watch a movie for a second time?! It took three security guards to deal with this situation for a $12.00 movie ticket! He had no weapon and wasn't a threat to anyone. Why was he tackled and thrown to the ground? These police officers need to be prosecuted for at the very least involuntary manslaughter.I swear this world has gone completely MAD and unfortunately the most innocent and vulnerable are taking the hardest hits. My prayers go out to Robert's family. Such a sad story.

Angus Files

Nothing worse than a crooked Cop weed them out...

Angus Files

Linda

The role of police is to protect the vulnerable. They were supposed to be there to make sure that no one else harmed or took advantage of Robert Saylor. Instead they killed him.

Outraged

The parents need to demand EXTERNAL INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATORS,
this case needs to be taken to a grand jury.Murder is a murder and POLICE ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW.Their badges must be taken away until this investigation is complete by the grand jury.
Internal investigators are covering up the abuse and murder of a disabled man with a mind of a six year old child.He most likely was unable to process the officers orders.Did the officers kneel on him and interfere with his normal respiration???!!! The positional asphyxia had resulted in his death.This young man was unarmed,waiting for his care giver to return.Based on the Attorney's information Saylor's
caregiver was prevented from diffusing the situation.
Training and education are badly needed to PREVENT similar situation in the future.
I AM ASKING PEOPLE TO BOYCOTT WESTVIEW CINEMA IN FREDRICK,MARYLAND.
I AM ASKING TO RE-OPEN THE INVESTIGATIONS BY AN INDEPENDENT OUTSIDE AGENCY.THESE THREE OFFICERS SHOULD BE FIRED.
HE DID NOT HAVE TO DIE FOR A $12.00 MOVIE TICKET.
"The deputies employed police procedures pursuant to their training with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office."
The training is wrong,they need to re-do the training manual.
ALL OFFICERS MUST BE TRAINED TO DEAL WITH DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED PEOPLE - LETS CALL THIS THE "LAW OF ETHAN SAYLOR"
Saylor's parents need to to fight,fight so that a homocide
like this does not happen again.ALL THREE POLICE OFFICERS NEED TO DO COMMUNITY SERVICE WITH THE DISABLED - SEVERAL HUNDRED HOURS RECOMMENDED.I am the mother of a disabled young man.

anne

I live in the Frederick, MD area and naturally this story appeared in our county newspaper : I was more than Upset by the events written about.
I will bring up first : why did his Caretaker leave him, even for a 'moment.' the version told in one article was that Caretaker had gone out of theater to get her\his vehicle -- the Westview Cinema has a long stretch to walk from the parking lot ! but that should be a No-No for any responsible C.taker : take your "charge" with you ? !
having a granddaughter on the Autism spectrum with unpredictable behavior, I'd no more leave her (even tho now 7 yrs old) for 2+ minutes or even for one ! so I can 'relate' to erratic behavior of a Challenged Person <<<

Such over-reaction -- our local story made it sound like the W.view management was fearing someone see a movie a second time WITHOUT PAYING FOR TICKET ! eeeeeeeeeK, horrors. as if their tic prices aren't steep enuf ..........

sad, and beyond SAD : quite what triggered his death : hyperventilation, Mega-anxiety attack, other med.condition ?
like way too Many events in our society : DID NOT NEED to happen ! and much more should be `made of this` nationally, on t.v., newspapers. HEY : if the Mayor of Frederick were the one offDuty police manhandled ---------- you know where that goes <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

oneVoice

A crime committed against a helpless disabled young person.A
FULL INVESTIGATION IS REQUIRED to explore what have contributed to the death of this 26 year young man.It is a sad and heart breaking story.
I hope our children never ever meet a police officer.
It is time to learn how to handle disabled people with CARE and VALUE the life of the disabled.
Shame on the police for acting out on "minor" issue like this (not exit the movie theatre on their demand).
My deep sympathy to his family and to the people who knew him.

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