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by Peter Moskos

April 1, 2013

Why did Robert Ethan Saylor die?

My colleague at John Jay College, James Mulvaney, had a good op-ed in the Washington Post last month about a tragic and unnecessary death in Central Maryland. As both a former police officer and a former movie theater usher, I can't help but think Prof. Mulvaney get's it right. You can read it here:
Where is the public outrage over the death of Robert Ethan Saylor, killed in January while being taken into police custody in Frederick for the crimes of petty larceny and, perhaps, disorderly conduct?

Saylor, 26, had Down syndrome, a genetic defect that can cause cognitive deficiencies, poor judgment, impulsive behavior and other issues. Unlike many other disorders, it is associated with recognizable physical traits, especially unique facial features. Photographs show Saylor to have had the classic “Down” look.

1 comment:

Juli Adcock said...

Ethan died because of misunderstanding, insufficient training and the mindset of enforcing the letter of the law, rather than solving a problem through well developed people skills. It is a heartbreaking tragedy that will hopefully reinforce the importance of people skills, not just tactical skills. Thank you for posting this reminder of how we do our jobs has such great impact on so many lives.