Justice For Ethan: Governor Martin O'Malley, We need an independent investigation and training for police.
  • Petitioning Governor Martin O'Malley

This petition will be delivered to:

Governor Martin O'Malley
Attorney General Doug Gansler
Secretary of Disabilities
Cathy Raggio
Senator David Brinkley

Justice For Ethan: Governor Martin O'Malley, We need an independent investigation and training for police.

    1. Emma Saylor
    2. Petition by

      Emma Saylor

      Mount Airy, MD

My big brother, Ethan Saylor, was a 26 year old man with Down Syndrome who died in the custody of three off-duty Frederick County Deputy Sheriffs on January 12th, 2013 over the price of a movie ticket. Our family is hurt and left with many unanswered questions. We're calling for an independent investigation into Ethan's death. 

Ethan's crime? He wouldn't leave a movie theater because he wanted to see Zero Dark Thirty one more time, but didn't pay for the second showing. When he refused to get out of the seat for the next show police attempted to pull him out of his chair and he resisted. Ethan's aide asked the police to wait and that Ethan would calm down shortly if they left him alone. She specifically told them that touching him would just escalate the situation. They didn't listen. 

One deputy pulled Ethan from his seat and began struggling with him. Then two more off-duty deputies joined in, wrestling Ethan and trying to handcuff him. Then they "took him down," falling in a heap with Ethan at the bottom. Witnesses say they could hear him crying and calling for our mom. Then he stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest. In just a few moments he was dead - eventually ruled a homicide by asphyxiation.

To date, the only investigation conducted was written from the narrow perspective of the Frederick County Sheriffs Department. They investigated and cleared themselves of any wrongdoing. And for us, so many questions are left unanswered because of this.

Part of the problem is that police officers in Maryland aren't trained enough in how to deal with developmentally disabled people like my brother. I think training is an important next step in making sure that what happens to my brother never happens to anyone else.

We need a comprehensive, independent investigation that will show all sides of the truth; unbiased and thorough. I want my governor and attorney general to get justice for my brother, and to implement training protocols so that no other family will ever have to experience the pain my family feels.

We miss Ethan every day. He didn't deserve this. And no one else does, either.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Washington Post Calls on Governor O'Malley to Investigate Ethan's Death!

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director
      Shining a light on the Frederick County sheriff's department

      MARYLAND Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has been doubtful about the need for independent state review of the death of a young man with Down syndrome while in the custody of Frederick County sheriff's deputies. Mr. O'Malley pointed to two previous investigations and noted that a third, by the U.S.

    2. Gov. O'Malley will develop statewide training standards for police!

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley pledged Thursday to respond to the case of a man with Down syndrome who died in the custody of Frederick County sheriff’s deputies by developing statewide training standards for law enforcement officers and first responders on how to interact with people who have disabilities.

      The governor made the promise during a meeting in Annapolis with the family of Robert Ethan Saylor, 26, who died in January after three off-duty deputies attempted to remove him from a theater when he tried to watch a second showing of a movie without buying another ticket.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/gov-omalley-to-meet-family-of-man-with-downs-syndrome-who-died-in-frederick-co-theater/2013/09/05/d1cd988e-1634-11e3-a2ec-b47e45e6f8ef_story.html

      O'Malley pledges training standards for public safety workers after death of Maryland man

      Takirra Winfield, a spokeswoman for O'Malley, did not discuss details of the meeting but confirmed late Thursday afternoon that "in the coming days, we will announce actions aimed at improving training for law enforcement personnel and other first responders so that we can do everything we can to ensure this never happens again."

    3. Ethan's Family Meets With Governor O'Malley; Delivers 340,000 signatures

      Jonathan Perri
      Deputy Campaign Director

      It was a huge step towards justice Thursday as the family of Robert "Ethan" Saylor finally got to sit face-to-face with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and plead their case for an independent investigation into Ethan's death.

      http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/273692/189/Family-Meets-With-Md-Gov-Delivers-340000-signatures

      Family Meets With Md. Gov; Delivers 340,000 signatures

      WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- It was a huge step towards justice today as the family of Robert "Ethan" Saylor finally got to sit face-to-face with Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and plead their case for an independent investigation into Ethan's death.

    4. Reached 300,000 signatures

    Supporters

    @TheArcBaltimore

    Sep 05, 2013

    RT @lollardfish: An open letter to @GovernorOMalley - http://t.co/hAcGPYfWHr #JusticeForEthan

    The Arc Baltimore
    578 followers

    @DSNMCMaryland

    Jun 22, 2013

    ACTION ALERT: Justice for Ethan Saylor Please take a few minutes to TAKE ACTION to call and/or email Governor... http://t.co/ey4HZcaGL0

    DSNMC
    28 followers

    @baltimoresun

    Sep 05, 2013

    O'Malley to meet with family of man with Down Syndrome who died in law enforcement custody. http://t.co/5wg35nCz4q

    The Baltimore Sun
    52k followers

    @T21Team

    Aug 31, 2013

    310,000 signatures on the petition for #JusticeForEthan (young US man w/ DS murdered by Fredrick, MD police) http://t.co/B65mx8K9Tt

    Trisomy21 Team
    2.21k followers

    @NoahsDadDotCom

    Sep 02, 2013

    Please take a second to help my son not get murdered over a ten dollar movie ticket one day. #JusticeForEthan //... http://t.co/fl8GcKbsWv

    Noah's Dad
    10.5k followers

    @williecolon

    Aug 28, 2013

    My big brother, Ethan Saylor, was a 26 year old man with Down Syndrome who died in the custody of three off-duty... http://t.co/QnFZzV04OR

    Willie Colón
    1.81M followers

    @autselfadvocacy

    Aug 24, 2013

    Petition by Justice For Ethan: Governor Martin O'Malley, We need an independent investigation and training for police http://t.co/v2KujY52VM

    autselfadvocacy
    1.46k followers

    @GDSFoundation

    Aug 23, 2013

    Add your voice to the 200K supporters of petition in Ethan Saylor case. #justiceforethan #downsyndrome http://t.co/FpZqOnc6Kn

    Global Down Syndrome
    3.69k followers

    @DADSNational

    Aug 14, 2013

    “@NDSS: Action Alert: Governor O'Malley - We Still Need Answers and #JusticeforEthan Saylor: http://t.co/w1bNzs4nW0”

    D.A.D.S. National
    297 followers

    @DownDaily

    Aug 14, 2013

    “@NDSS: Action Alert: Governor O'Malley - We Still Need Answers and #JusticeforEthan Saylor: http://t.co/XkNyx8SQA1”

    Down Syndrome Daily
    1.66k followers

    @NDSS

    Aug 14, 2013

    Action Alert: Governor O'Malley - We Still Need Answers and Justice for Ethan Saylor: http://t.co/x9A63zfVgA

    NDSS
    4.91k followers

    @heathermizeur

    Aug 14, 2013

    Let's honor Ethan Saylor's life by protecting thousands more like him: http://t.co/nRoJ1O2mQV #JusticeForEthan @DialyKos

    Heather R. Mizeur
    3.44k followers

    @dsagsl

    Apr 12, 2013

    Love someone with Down syndrome? Join us in the push for #justiceforethan #downsyndrome http://t.co/sKFmzkhTQY

    DSAGSL
    653 followers

    @NDSC

    Aug 21, 2013

    Have you signed the petition? Have you shared it with your Facebook friends? Do it today! http://t.co/vXKI95OaUC

    National DS Congress
    2.55k followers

    @SO_Washington

    Aug 22, 2013

    It's time to get involved! MT Here is a petition started by Ethan's sister. Over 100k signatures in 24hrs http://t.co/Yjq5GcU8Ch

    Special Olympics WA
    1.01k followers

    Reasons for signing

    • Faith Springs WICHITA, KS
      • 1 day ago

      At the very least

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Garrett Wallitsch WINSTON-SALEM, NC
      • 4 days ago

      Police brutality and abuse of power is a growing trend in the US, and it's becoming a disturbingly common theme among law enforcement.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Dr. Tony Harris PALMDALE, CA
      • 5 days ago

      From my personal experience, I know that very often, "police officers" enjoy the thrill of feeling macho by overacting in often violent ways in what they may believe is their duty to "enforce" the law and to enact justice. Unfortunately, most police officers use their "profession" to carry out their sick and violent whims on innocent people. Obviously, the police who visciously and needlessly attacked Ethan Saylor are evil, maniacal, mindless, and certainly deserving of punishment (justice) for their crime. This matter is not resolved until this is done!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • RJ J AUBURN, GA
      • 11 days ago

      The 'Peace Officers' have forgotten that they work for us. They are totally out of control and need to learn whom they work FOR.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • William Lindberg, Jr. ST. PETERSBURG, FL
      • 20 days ago

      Because it's messed up and wasn't handled correctly at all. The police officers treated Ethan like he had a gun and was about ready to start shooting people or something. There is NO way someone like Ethan would have needed such harsh treatment. And guess what, there were people surrounding them, so if this was properly handled with, I would assume there are PLENTY of witnesses that can say what happened. If this was brought to court, I'd say the only thing that might stand in the way is the actual current law(s) concerning how the police should behave. I fear that, since there obviously is no trained measures for such situations, that the most this could do is PASS A LAW that prohibits such treatment toward certain handicapped person(s). As far as the incident with Ethan... whatever law(s) might be placed from the court conclusion on, were sadly not placed until THEN... Meaning that any case(s) before said law(s) were implemented could possibly not be effected. I do know that, at the very least, this petition has a BIG chance of causing whatever necessary law(s) needed to be placed.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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