Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Nobody Is Free

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,792
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Nobody Is Free

    ((((((HUGS TO ALL))))))

    Earlier this year, I posted about Robert Ethan Saylor, a 26 year old man, who had Down Syndrome, who died after being wrangled to the ground and handcuffed by police officers for "trespassing" in a movie theater.

    http://www.braintalkcommunities.org/...light=Syndrome

    Although the Frederick, MD coroner declared Robert's death a homicide, the officers involved will face no charges. The Grand Jury brought no indictment against them. An internal investigation cleared them of any wrong doing.

    That evening, Robert's 18 year old caretaker, who had been caring for Robert for 3 months, called Robert's mother to ask her advice on how to handle Robert, who was having a melt down. Robert's mother told the caretaker to "wait it out." Robert's caretaker then called another of Robert's caretakers for advice, and he told her to leave Robert to cool down, while she went to get the car.

    After she left him to get the car, Robert wandered back into the theater, sat down and awaited the next showing of the film, "Zero Dark Thirty."

    When the caretaker returned, she found the theater manager telling Robert that he had to leave. The caretaker explained that Robert needed some time, and that she would take care of him. The manager summoned the police. The caretaker warned the police not to touch Robert, or he would "freak out." But the officer didn't listen to her, and he touched Robert. Robert became agitated. He cursed and resisted.

    Discrepancies in witness testimony regarding whether an officer's knee was on Robert's back/spine or on the ground beside Robert, and whether an officer applied pressure to Robert's neck may be contributing factors to the lack of charges against the responding officers. However, the Coroner's finding of damage to Robert's larynx and that the cause of death was positional asphyxiation should be compelling evidence that Robert is a victim of murder.

    How many different ways could the officers have handled the situation, such that it didn't result in Robert's death?

    Could the manager of the theater have waived the ticket price - the rules - for Robert? What if the manager had listened to Robert's caretaker and allowed the necessary time to calm Robert? What if the manager hadn't called the security guards to remove Robert?

    What if the officers had listened to the caretaker, and allowed time for her to work with Robert, or wait for Robert's mother to arrive?

    What if one of the officers offered to pay for Robert's ticket to see the movie again?

    And what if … Robert was your child?

    What is the value of Robert's life? The price of a movie theater ticket?

    Certainly, his life isn't worth the cost of a trial, or the Grand Jury and the DA would have charged the involved officers with some kind of offense, even involuntary manslaughter or aggravated assault.

    But there is no justice for Robert Saylor. The Frederick Police Department viewed him as a criminal ~ his crime was trespassing, and that is their justification for their brutal takedown of Robert, which ended Robert's life.

    This is where we are now, at a place, where this kind of violence against persons with developmental disabilities is acceptable to our law enforcement officials, our council members, and our state and federal legislators. There can be no greater devaluation of humanity than the tolerance of abuse against our most vulnerable citizens, while walking away from and washing their hands of the blood of their victims.

    Where is the public outrage for Robert's murder? Where is the wall-to-wall TV coverage of Robert's death? Where are the celebrities queuing up to defend Robert and ask for a federal investigation of a violation of Robert's civil rights that January night?

    Would more attention be paid to Robert's demise while in the custody of these officers, if Robert was an ethnic minority, or gay, or even a woman?

    Justice for ALL.

    Not: Justice for Everyone, Except Persons With Disabilities.

    "Nobody's free, until everybody's free." ~ Fannie Lou Hamer

    For as long as no one is held accountable for the death of Robert Ethan Saylor, nobody is free.

    Love & Light,

    Rose


    References:

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/1...d-man-was.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3602128.html
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

  2. #2

    Default

    I followed that story to see where it would wind up and am completely disgusted in how the case was handled. You ask where the public outrage and wall to wall coverage is ... well to put it bluntly ... since Robert was white it's not important to the media. Had Robert been black or hispanic the media would have been all over it.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,792
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    ((((((Swanton Bomb))))))

    Robert's disabling condition is the reason why his case is not receiving attention, not his race. Ethnic minorities, the LGBT community, and women have the support of politicians, activists, celebrities, and legislators. People with disabilities do not have famous and powerful spokespersons fighting for their rights. Within the minority of disabled persons, people with developmental disabilities are the most maligned and mistreated, because they typically cannot stand up for themselves.

    There are plenty of stories of individuals with developmental disabilities, who are African-American, Hispanic, or other ethnic minority, being abused by law enforcement. And their cases have been ignored too.

    I have no objection to the attention and support ethnic minorities, LGBT, and women receive. They deserve that help to end their oppression. Likewise, people with disabilities deserve the same attention and support. But they don't get it. They are the "Forgotten Minority."

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Wisconsin!
    Posts
    665

    Default

    Sad! I remember that case even though I don't really follow any of the court cases very closely. Sad to hear there will not be any consequences for the officers involved. That is the only 'good' thing about Caitlin being in a wheelchair...her disability is immediately obvious. I can't imagine being a parent and worrying about my child (as a disabled adult) being treated poorly due to misunderstandings...of less obvious disabilites. I think the manager could have been more understanding and let the caregiver do her job...to calm him down and get him to go with her. Especially if the caregiver was right there also, manager should have realized the guy had a disability and was not simply a criminal. Hopefully, with more inclusion in the schools nowadays, kids will grow up to be more understanding and patient of those with disabilities and instances like this might become rarer.

    Lisa O.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    995

    Default

    Everything about this case is just so very wrong. I wish there were some sort of consequences for the ones responsible. I think I mentioned the case locally that gave jail time to caregivers who killed a young boy by inproperly restraining him. I agree where is all the outrage for taking this young person's life. I totaly agree with you Lisa about inclusion helping the next generation to be more compasionate, patient, and educated about individuals with disabilities. I have seen this happen first hand with Kathleen's classmates. Even the so called "bad boys" who tend to get in trouble have been so compasionate towards Kathleen. Without being asked or told they just naturaly care about her, and talk and joke with her (she has a fantastic sense of humor) they are great at motivating her also. They have also even at a very young age been known to stick up for her. Teachers especially are sometimes shocked and always thrilled at seeing this side of the students. We need to facilitate these types of relationships at a young age when children are naturally curiouse and so caring.
    Mary G.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Community Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,243
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    The US Dept of Justice just announced that they will investigate. Thank goodness - this is a terrible story. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...424_story.html
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


  7. #7
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,792
    Blog Entries
    1

    Thumbs up

    ((((((Donna))))))

    Thank you so much for sharing this article with us. I am very pleased that the DOJ is investigating Robert's case, and that the Saylors were supported by advocacy groups to cause that investigation to be undertaken.

    Two things stood out to me in that article.

    The "We Did Nothing Wrong" attitude of the Sheriff:

    Sheriff Jenkins said he learned of the investigation weeks ago in a letter from the Justice Department and welcomes it. Once investigators review the facts, he said, “they’re going to say: ‘You know what? There is absolutely no excessive force, no inappropriate actions or wrongdoing by these deputies. This is simply an unfortunate situation where this man had a medical emergency while being escorted out of the theater.’ ”

    "No excessive force?" "Escorted?"

    Three deputies pull him out of his seat, drag him as he struggles, causing him to fall to the ground on that sloped floor, affording them the opportunity to string together 3 sets of handcuffs to accommodate Robert's size (how long did that take?), and restraining Robert in the process of arresting him. Arresting him for what? Wanting to see the movie again.

    "No inappropriate actions or wrongdoings by these deputies?"

    His caretaker told the deputy not to touch Robert. He touched him. Inappropriate. Isn't demonstrating a lack of compassion by a public official toward a person with disabilities a wrongdoing?

    How did Robert suffer a crushed larynx? From wrongdoing.

    And then there is the response by Patti, Robert's mother:

    She believes her son’s civil rights were violated that night.

    “I just feel he was devalued,” she said.


    I am in awe of Patti that she and her family do not want to file criminal charges against the officers. She probably knows that it is a waste of her time and money to pursue criminal charges against law enforcement. If the DOJ finds a violation of Robert's civil rights occurred, I wonder where that will lead. The entire Sheriff's department needs to be investigated by the feds.

    After reading the article you provided, I linked to an accompanying story:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...y.html?hpid=z2

    Here's the paragraph that jumped out at me and truly riles me:

    After Ethan’s death, sheriff officials returned to Theater 9 and stopped the movie that was playing. For the inconvenience, the report said, theater management gave patrons free movie passes.

    Movie goers received free movie passes for the inconvenience of Robert's death interfering with their viewing of the film.

    I Am Incredulous.

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,792
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    ((((((Lisa & Mary))))))

    I see that greater acceptance of others among my neighbor's children and my godchildren. Kids today are growing up with two dads or two moms, or two sets of parents from a divorce, or interracial parents, or disabled parents. There is no longer a "Father Knows Best" fantasy about the ideal family. And that's good.

    And Lisa, I'm not so sure about the wheelchair signaling an obvious disability resulting in better treatment. Jim told me that recently an airport TSA agent forced a woman out of her wheelchair to be searched.

    An ironic twist to Robert's story is that he was fascinated with law enforcement, even wanted an application to apply for a position as an officer. His mother brought cookies to the station to thank them for their patience in responding to Robert's occasional unnecessary 911 calls. But, the deputies, who responded to the theater manager that night, did not know Robert, and they were not in uniform, so he didn't recognize them as officers. He might have responded differently if they had been in uniform.

    I think Robert's disability was or should have been apparent to the deputies, and Robert's caretaker explained to them that Robert needed time to cool down. But they would not wait. The next showing of the film was approaching, and they wanted to get him out of there so that the movie could start on time. Never any thought to saying, "Oh well, what's the harm in him staying to see it again? Here's 12 bucks for his ticket."

    No free pass for Robert, but for those inconvenienced movie goers, free passes all around.

    I remain incredulous.

    I'm rooting for the DOJ.

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 49, and Michael, 32, who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003. Our Angel Jon received his wings April 2019. April 2020, Jim, the world's most wonderful Dad, joined them. Now, they all watch over me.

  9. #9
    Distinguished Community Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,243
    Blog Entries
    9

    Default

    Me too, Rose! Me too. x
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


  10. #10
    Distinguished Community Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,864
    Blog Entries
    32

    Default

    Totally agree with you there. This story was so sad and unfortunate. The cops should be better trained and the manager could have waited at least a little bit. This did not need to happen.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/astrokeofendurance.php

Similar Threads

  1. Argument for not going just Gluten-Free. Totally wheat free.
    By houghchrst in forum No Gluten Here
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-27-2013, 07:16 PM
  2. Little Free Library
    By houghchrst in forum Chit-Chat
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-31-2012, 09:24 PM
  3. shunt free!!!!
    By UTC12 in forum Hydrocephalus (in memory of Braindrain aka Gina)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-28-2011, 12:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


BTC Inc's Disclaimer and Privacy Policy

The material on this site is for information & support purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice provided by a licensed health care provider. Always consult your doctor before trying anything that you find online.