Sunday, March 24, 2013

CALL TO ACTION - Robert Ethan Saylor

Friday, March 22, 2013, exactly 69 days after Robert Ethan Saylor died of  asphyxiation, J. Charles Smith III, State's Attorney for Frederick County, Maryland released the following press release.

Despite being ruled a HOMICIDE, the three off duty deputies who were working as mall security at the time, "employed police procedures pursuant to their training with the Frederick County Sherrif's Office".

It is unknown what exactly this training entails, how this particular county compares to other agencies worldwide, how this level of training translates when "moonlighting" as mall security and ultimately, how this all relates to those with Down syndrome.

However, the fact remains that "but for the actions of other individuals Mr. Saylor would not have died."

Within this press release is the phrase "This individual was compromised by his Down's Syndrome..." It is Down Syndrome Uprising's opinion that this ruling only further illuminates the bias present with lawmakers, judiciary bodies, and health care professionals towards those living with Down syndrome.

Robert Ethan Saylor's case is sadly not unique and will continue not to be so unless those employed as "protector[s] of the public" realize that people with Down syndrome are full-fledged members of that same public.  People with Down syndrome can no longer be dismissed out of hand as "compromised" or inferior to other citizens, especially when such things are neglect, violence, and death occur.

This is a call to action.  Speak out against this senseless death and predictable ruling.

Down Syndrome Uprising asks for you to contact:

To demand an independent investigation, contact these instances here.

Update from NDSC on March 25: 

"Tomorrow afternoon, NDSC Executive Director David Tolleson, Affiliate Director Sue Joe, Governmental Affairs Director Susan Goodman, and Board Member and Kennedy Krieger Down Syndrome Clinic Director Dr. George Capone, will meet with representatives from our Frederick County, Maryland, affiliate, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., NDSS, and the United States Department of Justice regarding the tragedy involving Robert Ethan Saylor. A representative of the Saylor family will also attend the meeting, which was organized last month by F.R.I.E.N.D.S. President Denny Weikert. Both the Saylor case, as well as the need for national first responder training regarding individuals with disabilities, will be discussed. NDSC is proud to partner with F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Kennedy Krieger, NDSS, DOJ and, especially, the Saylor family, as we work to ensure that such a needless loss never occurs again."

Update from NDSC on March 27: Press release

The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) for them to take a stand against this decision and to ensure dignity and respect to Robert Ethan Saylor and all people with Down syndrome as well as to clarify a statement that foreshadows the one found in the press release attributing responsibility for Robert Ethan Saylor to his Down syndrome.

Twitter: @NDSC

The Attorney General of the State of Maryland to push for an independent inquiry into the case of Robert 'Ethan' Saylor.

Contact numbers:(410) 576-6300 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free in Maryland(410) 576-6372 TDD

Mailing address:
Office of the Attorney General
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202

Form letter to Attorney General of the State of Maryland can be found here

Any and all local, national and international media outlets which you personally deem appropriate with this press release.

Press release from Down Syndrome Uprising can be found here

If you have a blog, we also ask you to write about this case and the activism you wish to see from your readers, the government, and those who represent you. Share your post with Down Syndrome Uprising

Use Twitter.

Use Facebook.

Sign the petition for Robert Saylor at Change.Org

Let's show a united front!

Let's show our outrage!


  1. Thank you for putting this together.

  2. We can right this wrong. We can never bring him back but we can express our Respect in this way

  3. I've started the "March for Ethan" on my blog. Here's the link:

  4. Outstanding!!!!!!!!! Thank you Down Syndrome Uprising!!!! Let our voices be heard!!! Justice served! Just blogged about it: