The recent HuffPo article on the Robert Saylor case really pissed me off.
Did you read it? Robert Ethan Saylor, Disabled Man Who Died In Custody, Had Heart Problem.
Let me get this straight: a young black man in BART station in Oakland (the very one in which my husband works, I might add) gets “accidentally” shot by a cop and we have riots, an uprising and a legion of people that are ready and willing to effect some change and make sure that trigger happy cop is served up a slice of justice in addition to more cop training.
A young man with DOWN SYNDROME in Maryland is “accidentally” held down and suffocated to death over a stupid movie ticket and we are getting “oh, he had a heart problem” from HuffPo.
I think I’d have a heart problem too if I was being SUFFOCATED TO DEATH
Robert Saylor’s death is getting dismissed because he had Down syndrome. If he was black, you bet your bottom dollar this would be riot-worthy.
His death is also getting dismissed because we as a society do not know enough about Down syndrome to call bullshit.
We as a society do not know enough about Down syndrome to say – wait a freaking minute. He may have had a heart problem but that’s beside the point. The point is he was held down by THREE officers in a position in which he COULD NOT BREATHE.
Blaming Down syndrome for this is like blaming Trayvon Martin for wearing a hoodie.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.