Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Press Release - Activists Mobilize to Demand Justice for Robert ‘Ethan’ Saylor

For Immediate Release

May 1, 2013

Activists Mobilize to Demand Justice for Robert ‘Ethan’ Saylor

Fredrick, MD — Down Syndrome Uprising (DSU) and T21 Brigade have joined forces this week to call on Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, to demand an independent investigation into the homicide of Robert ‘Ethan’ Saylor that occurred on January 12, 2013.

Citing the failure of the local State’s Attorney Charlie Smith to prosecute the homicide of Mr. Saylor, activists express concern over the possibility of local law enforcement protecting its own. Smith presented the grand jury with information about the case derived from an investigation conducted by the same agency that employs the police officers involved in Mr. Saylor's death.

Smith’s statement, following a grand jury hearing, that Saylor was "compromised by his Down's Syndrome [sic]," shifted the blame for Saylor's death onto his genetic condition rather than the improper restraint technique used on him after he refused to leave Regal Cinemas Westview Stadium 16 in Frederick City, Maryland once the movie ended. 26 year old Saylor was restrained face down with his arms behind his back causing him to suffer positional asphyxia. His death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.

Down Syndrome Uprising (DSU) and T21 Brigade, two grassroots activist groups, are working in tandem as The Down Syndrome Collective to redress the violation of Ethan Saylor’s civil rights that caused his death. “What has happened to date in investigating how a man died alone, crying out for help on the floor of a movie theater has been a sham. Only an independent investigation can honestly answer the manner of his death” says Taina Karru-Olsen, from DSU.

Jennifer Campbell of T21 Brigade explains, “Parent advocates have joined together seeking justice. We are keenly aware that Ethan Saylor could be any of our children, and are demanding an investigation that does not blame Down syndrome for a homicide.”

About The Down Syndrome Collective, T21 Brigade, and Down Syndrome Uprising

The Down Syndrome Collective is comprised of about 2000 members from both DSU and T21 Brigade, working to demand equal human rights for people with Down syndrome.

Established in 2009 as the Oz Squad, T21 Brigade is responsible for the removal or retraction of offensive material related to Down syndrome from a variety of online and print sources.
T21 Brigade Facebook page
T21 Brigade Blog

Down Syndrome Uprising (DSU) has over 1,000 members and is a grassroots online activism initiative that serves as a communication hub for a unified, global community of Down syndrome activists. Formed in January, 2013, DSU is organized by six mothers of children with Down syndrome living in four countries.
Facebook page: (https://www.facebook.com/DownSyndromeUprising)
Blog (http://downsyndromeuprising.blogspot.com/)

Media Inquiries

Sandra Lynn
T21 Brigade
(518) 496-6932
ds.mama at yahoo dot com

Taina Karru-Olsen
Down Syndrome Uprising
(425) 246-4530
Downsyndromeuprising at outlook dot com

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