"It's Not that Complicated, Is It" – by the Unknown Contributor

[repost from the Unknown Contributor – because she said it perfectly]

It’s Not that Complicated, Is It?

The Ethan Saylor case has dominated my mind, my heart, and my Facebook feed for a few weeks now. I have read just about everything news agencies, bloggers, and organizations have published on it.

(Is your Facebook feed saturated with Ethan Saylor posts? Are you sick of it and fairly sure enough other people are acting on this? Well, you can skip this post if ya want to, but please don’t think someone else is standing up in your place.)

moreethan

And no matter the slant, no matter the details in one post versus another, an unarmed young man died in police custody in a Regal movie theater in Frederick, MD on January 12. His alleged crime was that he refused to leave the theater after a showing of Zero Dark Thirty was over. Three police officers attempted to remove him and one thing led to another (that is my compilation of the various details I have read) and Ethan wound up handcuffed face down on the floor. Shortly after that, he ended up dead.

His autopsy report states there were several contributing factors leading to his death, and ultimately called it a homicide. The case was internally investigated and then a grand jury in Frederick decided that there was no cause to charge the officers involved with any malfeasance or misconduct of any sort.

How is it possible that a 26 year old man can go to a movie and wind up dead, and nothing is responsible for this except the fact that the man himself was defective?

The National Down Syndrome Congress explains much more clearly than I can that this is a human rights issue. When you read their statement, and find out that the man’s mother was on her way to the theater to diffuse the situation, it is enough to break your heart.

Because really… impatience, unnecessary force, and a lack of judgement is what killed Ethan Saylor.

It is true that Ethan was in the wrong when he refused to leave the theater (he wanted to watch the show again). It is true that Ethan Saylor likely got very upset when attempts were made to physically remove him (witnesses say he cried out for his mommy). It is true that sometimes people with Down syndrome are down right stubborn and refuse to move when you tell them to.

ethanIt is also true that if Ethan had been allowed to sit there in the theater and wait for his mom, he would still be alive today… and Regal would be out all of 12 bucks for the seat.

Would that have been special treatment? In my mind every unarmed, out-manned citizen should be treated with patience and the least amount of force possible until all feasible options are exhausted.

If you agree with that, then please consider signing the petition (started two months ago by Ethan’s mom) to request an independent inquiry into the matter.

 

*******************************************

More that you can do:

The change.org petition:

https://www.change.org/petitions/justice-for-robert-saylor

Then:

You can call the U.S. Department of Justice- (202) 307-5138

This is important as they have stated that “there are no concrete action steps at this time. It’s a little bit early for us. We’re trying to assess the situation and see how much community tension there is.”

So let’s make some tension, community. Call!

****

You can use these form letters to send to the appropriate parties:

To the U.S. Department of Justice –

AskDOJ@usdoj.gov

or by mail sent to

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

According to a press release from  the State’s Attorney for Frederick county, Robert Ethan Saylor died as a  result of three individuals’ actions on January 12, 2013 in Frederick,  Maryland. His death was and remains classified a HOMICIDE.

Robert Ethan Saylor was a healthy, 26-year-old man, who also had Down syndrome.

However, the above press release also states that Robert Ethan Saylor  was “…compromised by his Down’s syndrome…” and concludes that no  criminal charges are necessary in Mr. Saylor’s death.

I believe  that the above decision speaks to a continuing bias in society to see  Down syndrome as a disease, those with Down syndrome as lesser humans  and not deserving of the same respect warranted to those without Down  syndrome. I strongly believe, and do not stand alone, that it is a  violation of basic human rights to view Mr. Saylor’s death as somehow  due to his genetic makeup when his death has been classified a HOMICIDE.

I’m contacting you today to ask you to launch an independent inquiry  into the death of Mr. Saylor. I am asking you to prove to me that your  department believes in the humanity and equality of everyone, including  those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Respectfully,
[your name]

To the Attorney General of Maryland –

According to a press release from the State’s Attorney for Frederick county, Robert Ethan Saylor died as a result of three individuals’ actions on January 12, 2013 in Frederick, Maryland. His death was and remains classified a HOMICIDE.

Robert Ethan Saylor was a healthy, 26-year-old man, who also had Down syndrome.
However, the above press release also states that Robert Ethan Saylor was “…compromised by his Down’s syndrome…” and concludes that no criminal charges are necessary in Mr. Saylor’s death.

I believe that the above decision speaks to a continuing bias in society to see Down syndrome as a disease, those with Down syndrome as lesser humans, and not deserving of the same respect warranted to those without Down syndrome. I strongly believe, and do not stand alone, that it is a violation of basic human rights to view Mr. Saylor’s death as somehow due to his genetic makeup when  his death has been classified a HOMICIDE.

I’m contacting you today to ask you to launch an independent inquiry into the death of Mr. Saylor. I am asking you to prove to me that your office believes in the humanity and equality of everyone, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Respectfully,
[your name]

And again, the change.org petition:

https://www.change.org/petitions/justice-for-robert-saylor

 

Meriah

is a deaf blogger, global nomad, tech-junkie, cat-lover, Trekkie, Celto-Teutonic-peasant-handed mom of 3 (one with Down syndrome and one gifted 2E).

She likes her coffee black and hot.


Meriah on EmailMeriah on FacebookMeriah on GoogleMeriah on InstagramMeriah on LinkedinMeriah on PinterestMeriah on TwitterMeriah on Youtube

I'm opinionated, friendly & chatty... I hope you are, too