Patti Saylor to be honored nationally for advocacy

Patti Saylor will be honored with the National Down Syndrome Society’s Advocate of the Year award at an event in Washington later this month, the group announced Friday.

Saylor, of New Market, advocated for her son Ethan all his life, but took on a new role after his death.

Ethan Saylor, 26, died in January 2013 while he was being forcibly removed from a Frederick movie theater by three off-duty sheriff’s deputies.

Since Ethan Saylor’s death, Patti Saylor and her family have advocated for changes in police training and for better inclusion policies, among other things.

“I’m very honored,” Patti Saylor said Friday about the award. “I think the night will be a little difficult. It will be bittersweet because of the reason.” Continue reading Patti Saylor to be honored nationally for advocacy

News-Post: Judge criticizes use of force in Saylor case

A U.S. District Court judge’s opinion this week — which allowed a lawsuit filed by the family of Ethan Saylor to go forward — dwelled on issues of state police training and excessive use of force, topics brought to the state and national spotlight after Saylor’s death in 2013.

In a decision released Thursday, Judge William M. Nickerson wrote that he would not dismiss all claims against three Frederick County sheriff’s deputies or the state of Maryland because there was evidence the deputies violated Saylor’s constitutional rights and the state could be held responsible for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act for improperly training them.

Nickerson indicated that his position was based on the allegations in the family’s initial complaint and could change as the case carries forward and more evidence is introduced.

In a lawsuit filed last October, Saylor’s estate alleged violations of his civil rights and of the Americans with Disabilities Act by the state, county sheriff’s deputies, and the companies where the men were moonlighting as security guards at the Regal Cinemas Westview Stadium 16 theater.

Saylor, 26, of New Market, had Down syndrome and died Jan. 12, 2013, from a lack of oxygen while being forcibly removed by the deputies after he tried to stay for a second showing of the movie “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Saylor died of asphyxia with a fractured larynx, according to the state medical examiner’s office, which ruled the death a homicide. A Frederick County grand jury declined to indict the deputies.

In separate motions, attorneys for the deputies, Regal and the state of Maryland all asked the judge to dismiss all claims against them.

In dismissing each of the claims against Regal Cinemas, Nickerson wrote that the actions of the manager in calling for help from security were too far removed from the actual action taken by the sheriff’s deputies. Continue reading News-Post: Judge criticizes use of force in Saylor case

WPOST: Mother testifies before Senate panel about son’s death at Frederick deputies’ hands

Patti Saylor appeared before members of a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday and told them about her son, who loved law enforcement, who would sing in the voice mails he left his family and who, if he hadn’t died after being forced from a movie theater by three off-duty Frederick County deputies, would want to sit with the members of the committee, “because that’s where all the important people sit.”

More than a year after the death of Ethan Saylor, a 26-year-old man with Down syndrome, his mother continues to fight for him and others like him.

Her testimony came at a hearing chaired by Sen. Richard J. (D-Ill.) titled “Law Enforcement Responses to Disabled Americans: Promising Approaches for Protecting Public Safety.”

“I want to tell you firsthand that today’s hearing will save future lives,” Saylor said.

Continue reading WPOST: Mother testifies before Senate panel about son’s death at Frederick deputies’ hands

WashPost: Ethan Saylor’s legacy – Frederick deputies learn how to interact with those with IQs under 70

Ethan Saylor’s name was not on the curriculum.

But it was clear his death was the reason two dozen Frederick County deputies were sitting in a classroom Tuesday, learning how best to interact with people with intellectual disabilities.

A year after the 26-year-old man with Down syndrome died while three off-duty county deputies forced him from a movie theater — an event that remains the subject of a civil lawsuit — the sheriff’s office has adopted a training program that focuses specifically on individuals with IQs of less than 70. Until now, the training the deputies received was limited to their interactions with people with autism and mental illness.

“After the unfortunate incident with Ethan Saylor, we heard the public, and we heard that there was a demand for this type of training,” Frederick County Sheriff Charles A. Jenkins said. Continue reading WashPost: Ethan Saylor’s legacy – Frederick deputies learn how to interact with those with IQs under 70

Parents file lawsuit in movie-theater death of 26-year-old man with Down syndrome

By Theresa Vargas, Published: October 17

The parents of Robert Ethan Saylor, a 26-year-old with Down syndrome who lost consciousness as three off-duty Frederick County sheriff’s deputies forced him from a movie theater, filed a lawsuit Thursday that describes his death as “violent, terrifying and painful” and blames it on the negligence and deliberate actions of others.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Maryland, names the deputies, the movie theater, the shopping center’s property manager, the sheriff’s office and the county as responsible for Saylor’s death on Jan. 12 and seeks unspecified punitive and compensatory damages. Continue reading Parents file lawsuit in movie-theater death of 26-year-old man with Down syndrome

Letter to the Editor – “Why did Robert Saylor Die?”

Nothing that any of us can say or write can bring back Robert Ethan Saylor, or ease the pain of his family, or diminish the loss his friends are feeling. So many lessons can be learned from James Mulvaney’s March 10 Local Opinions article “Why did Robert Saylor Die?” One hopes, in particular, that Mr. Mulvaney’s phrase “to recognize that a disability is not a crime” will come across loud and clear in Frederick, Washington and beyond.

Washington Post
March 12, 2013

Letters to the Editor – Robert Ethan Saylor

Even though we all too often read of the senseless killings of people in the wrong place at the wrong time, Robert Ethan Saylor had not been in the wrong place. He simply did not have a ticket to watch a movie in a theater a second time. He also had Down syndrome which perhaps frightened the security guards who removed him so forcefully from the theater that he died.

This story in the Opinion Pages of the New York Times today, about the tragic death of Robert Ethan Saylor, should be a wake-up call for society.

Nothing any of us can say or write can bring back Robert Ethan Saylor, ease the pain of his family, or diminish the loss his friends are feeling. But a friend of mine with Down syndrome said something for us all to heed: that if we see people with disabilities like his and Mr. Saylor’s we should keep our eyes and ears open and then give them the respect they deserve.

It is incumbent upon us all to learn about people with intellectual or physical challenges, with different abilities, and perhaps with different facial structures, and that includes sensitivity training for those who work among the general population, such as police and private security guards.

It seems like such an easy task, but it might have saved Mr. Saylor’s life.

sent to the NY Times
March 19, 2013

Mary Ann Carmody
RN, BSN, AASECT-Certified Sexuality Educator

Autopsy report gives details in death of man with Down syndrome at Md. theater

Robert Ethan Saylor didn’t like to be touched, and suddenly an off-duty deputy had his hands on him. Within moments, two more deputies would grab him, the four men would fall in a heap on the floor, and Saylor, who had been shouting and resisting their attempts to restrain him, would grow quiet and still.

More than two months after a man with Down syndrome died at the hands of three off-duty Frederick County sheriff’s deputies, these details about his death emerged in an autopsy report released this week. The 11-page report, which offers the most comprehensive account yet on how the 26-year-old who went to see a movie ended up dead, was made available Tuesday, the same day local and national advocacy groups met with the U.S. Department of Justice to discuss the need for better police training. Continue reading Autopsy report gives details in death of man with Down syndrome at Md. theater