Robert Saylor was a 26-year-old man with Down Syndrome. He apparently loved the movie Zero Dark Thirty so much that he wanted to stay for a second showing. The New Market, MD man was at the Frederick, MD theater with his health care worker when theater security tried to kick him out. They called the police and Saylor died later that evening.
Saylor was at a movie theater with a health aide in Frederick on the night of the incident. He had just watched Zero Dark Thirty and refused to leave the theater after the film ended, authorities say.
Three deputies were called to handle the situation. Saylor was handcuffed and was allegedly resisting arrest when he had what authorities describe as a medical emergency.
According to a law enforcement source familiar with the case, the 26-year-old went into distress when he was put face down on the ground.
Deputies removed the handcuffs and took him to a hospital, where he was later declared deceased.
Saylor died on January 12th. The medical examiner has ruled his death a homicide by asphyxiation.
Here’s the video:
The three deputies involved are still working while the investigation continues.
Excessive force by police officers is nothing new, but statistics are tough to come by. A study by the Bureau of Justice found that only 1.4% of people who had contact with police had force used against them. 74% of those felt the force was too aggressive. How reliable are those statistics?
This graph shows a shocking attitude from police about using excessive force and how those instances can get swept under the rug.
Police have a terrible track record with mental disabilities. This video highlights how poorly police can treat the mentally disabled.
A study has shown that nearly half of all shooting deaths at the hands of the police are toward mentally ill people. While mental disabilities and mental illnesses are not the same thing, both can represent one thing to police – erratic behavior – which without proper police training, can earn a suspect abuse or even an immediate death sentence.
While little is being done to address the way police officers are trained in dealing with people with disabilities, protecting police officers from harm has become a priority among the Obama administration – and it’s working. In 2012, the number of police who were killed on the job dropped a dramatic 23%. Surprisingly, policing is a fairly safe line of work. 1.56 out of every 100,000 police officers die on the job, which is less than half the rate of the rest of America’s workforce. That fact could be in part because most police forces are unionized while most Americans are not part of unions.
Of course, the drop in police fatalities is a great thing. All the nation asks is that equal safety measures be applied to the general public and that the amount of force used is appropriate for the crime committed. No one deserves to die for hanging out too long in a movie theater.
|Wendy Gittleson grew up in a political family. Her passion is for social justice and fairness. She is the Senior Editor for Addicting Info. She lives in a union household. In her rare downtime, you’ll find her hiking or exploring the shoreline with her dogs. Follow her on her Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson|