Maryland seeks dismissal of Saylor lawsuit

Ethan Saylor

BALTIMORE (AP) — Gov. Martin O’Malley will meet next week with a commission he created in response to the death in custody of a man with Down syndrome to hear about the panel’s progress in devising training for law enforcement officers and others in dealing with the intellectually and developmentally disabled, the panel’s chairman said Thursday.

Timothy Shriver outlined for panel members the discussion he hopes to have with the outgoing Democratic governor Wednesday. It would include the panel’s oversight of a police academy regimen featuring disabled people as trainers that will become mandatory for new officers statewide in 2015.

Shriver, who also chairs the national Special Olympics, said he also plans to share with O’Malley some recommendations the panel is considering, including a possible request for a state-funded center to prepare more so-called self-advocates as trainers for public-transit workers, medical professionals and educators, as well as police officers.

Shriver said such an approach could make Maryland a national leader in changing fearful attitudes about the disabled that advocates say led to the death of Robert Ethan Saylor. The 26-year-old New Market man suffocated in January 2013 as three Frederick County sheriff’s deputies, moonlighting as mall security officers, tried to forcibly remove him from a theater because he hadn’t bought a ticket for a second viewing of the film, “Zero Dark Thirty.”  The death was ruled a homicide but a grand jury refused to indict the officers.

“The one thread that this commission has continually returned to is the issue of self-advocacy and the issue of self-representation,” Shriver said. “It could have quite sweeping and powerful messaging implications for the state if we had such a cadre of people being prepared for that role.”

The state General Assembly passed a law last spring mandating police training about the intellectually and developmentally disabled. The commission says California, Delaware, New Jersey, Indiana, Louisiana and New Mexico have laws requiring some or all first responders to be trained in interactions with people with such disabilities, but Maryland would be the first to use them as teachers in mandatory police training statewide.

(5) comments

Extra Ignored

There is a significant difference between being unattended with intent to return in a short period of time and being abandoned with no intent of returning. This disabled woman also probably had no money and the managers of the bar where she was left probably felt she was trespassing. She also had behavioral issues but when abandoned in Tennessee she wasn't killed by law enforcement. What does Tennessee law enforcement know that Frederick County law enforcement doesn't.

Chicago-area mother says desperation led her to abandon disabled daughter in Tennessee

Algonquin woman says she couldn't cope with 19-year-old's disabilities or mounting cost of caring for her. But not everyone is sympathetic to her plight.


What does the above comment have to do with this story ??? And WRONG...Extra Ignored. Look the law up that refers to abandonment in medical terms.


That's a great picture of Martin O' Malley!

Extra Ignored

I guess you've never actually seen a picture of the Maryland governor.


It would be fair and productive to form a panel to oversee training of respite workers and care takers who's job is to not only stay with their client (which Mr. Saylor's caretaker did not....called abandonment), but also should have the verbal and non-verbal skills to diffuse a situation in which their client is getting beligerent and / or violent. What many readers didn't see or know because they were not there, was Mr. Saylor had already been agitated with his caretaker outside the theater following the first showing. He punched a plate-glass window (didn't break somehow) when he was advised by the caretaker that they would not be staying for a second movie. Deputies had the grounds and evidence that this boy was already in a combative state. This was not a case of a sweet and innocent disabled individual who would have been heart-broken if not allowed to see another movie. This a a matter of ill response to his caretakers actions and refusal to cooperate with authority (deputies). The "free ticket" that so many readers thought was the simple solution, was not in the cards, as the caretaker had already determined that one showing was all. People only see the warm and fuzzy photo of Mr. Saylor (above) and only continue to read and hear of how he "DIED AT THE HANDS OF DEPUTIES". Many don't know or choose to ignore the fact that this boy had a violent background....commited a violent act before the "big event" that evening. HIS actions put Deputies in a position of having to use force to do their job...for the safety of all concerned. And irrelevant stories like the FNP printed last week, regarding Mrs. Saylor's endorsement of Sheriff Jenkin's opposition for office, truly shows their (FNP) bias and will to further inflame the anti-cop crowd.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.