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Lawmaker Calls For Changes After Disabled Man Dies

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Robert Ethan Saylor

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — New demands for a state investigation into the death of a young man with Down syndrome. He died at the hands of Frederick County sheriff’s deputies; those deputies were never charged.

Kai Jackson has more on the letter sent to Governor Martin O’Malley calling for action.

The investigation ended with no criminal charges being filed but a Montgomery County delegate who wants to see some changes says this case is far from closed.

The death of Ethan Saylor at the hands of Frederick County sheriff’s deputies in January stunned people across Maryland and in the disabilities community, primarily because the 26-year-old man had Down syndrome and limited intellectual capacity.

“He has never had anyone put their hands on him before,” said Ethan’s mother, Patti Saylor.

Ethan Saylor was arrested Jan. 12 for overstaying his visit at a movie theater. His caregiver says she warned deputies Saylor wasn’t accustomed to being touched. The caregiver says officers ignored the warning and, following a struggle, Saylor died from asphyxiation.

The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide but a Frederick County grand jury refused to indict the deputies involved.

“What I’m asking the governor to do is chart a pathway of enlightenment so that we don’t ever have a crisis situation like this again,” said Delegate Heather Mizeur.

Mizeur, who is running for governor, is asking Governor Martin O’Malley to help prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.

“What kind of training do we need to have in place for people who are dealing with intellectual disabilities?” she said.

In her letter, Delegate Mizeur said she’s willing to help the governor implement any new plans to help those with disabilities.

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