The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
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New York New York 10012
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info@ndss.org 

Action Alert: Ethan Saylor

Action Alert: Contact Governor O’Malley of Maryland
to Demand an Independent Investigation Regarding the
Death of Ethan Saylor 

Overview

It has been almost five months since Ethan Saylor, a 26-year-old man with Down syndrome, died while being restrained by off duty law enforcement officers. Ethan was attending a movie at a local theater in Frederick County, Maryland — a place he visited quite often. When Ethan verbally refused to leave the theater after the movie ended, and while his support staff had gone to get their car, mall security was called, and Ethan was restrained face-down. Ethan’s staff reentered the theater, attempted to intervene to calm the situation and was refused. Ethan’s mother, who had been called by Ethan's staff, was within a few minutes of the theater. Instead of picking her son up and taking him home, Ethan’s mother was re-routed to the local ER and was met with the devastating news that her beloved son was dead. A grieving family has lost their beautiful son.

Take Action

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 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.

Email/Fax Template

Governor Martin O’Malley
Email: governor@gov.state.md.us
Fax: 410-974-3275 

Dear Governor O’Malley:

I am writing as a (parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt/uncle, teacher, friend) of a person with Down syndrome regarding Ethan Saylor, a man with Down syndrome who died while at The Regal Westview Movie Theater 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. Despite the Sheriff's own public comment that the internal investigation has been completed and the officers have returned to full duty, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office refuses to release investigation results to the family's attorney, despite numerous written requests.

While waiting for his support staff to retrieve their car after the movie, Ethan refused to leave his seat. He was restrained face-down by three plain-clothes officers moonlighting as mall security. Ethan died from a crushed larynx while handcuffed. His senseless death was ruled a homicide, but the Frederick County Sheriff and Prosecutor neglected to conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and the grand jury refused to indict. The prosecuting attorney’s office refuses to turn the results of the investigation over to the family’s attorney. Ethan’s death was senseless and entirely avoidable.

Sincerely,

[Insert contact information] 


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