Young Man with Down Syndrome Dies in Police Custody; Medical Examiner Says it’s Homicide

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I guess I’m just the bearer of upsetting news today. Brace yourself, because this is a sad one:  Last month, 26 year-old Robert Saylor (who has Down syndrome) went to watch Zero Dark Thirty with a health aid at a movie theater in Frederick. After the movie ended, Saylor refused to leave the theater — he loved the film so much he wanted to see it again, according to his mom. The movie theater called the cops; the cops wrestled Saylor to the floor, where he suffered “a medical emergency.” This week, the Baltimore County Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide by asphyxiation.

There’s something especially horrifying about a young man watching a movie with intense, upsetting (controversial!) depictions of torture, then being handcuffed and wrestled to the ground with enough force that he died of asphyxia. “He has never had anyone put their hands on him in their life,” Patti Saylor, Robert’s mother, told ABC7. “He would not have been doing anything threatening to anybody.” The three deputies who were involved in the incident are still on regular duty, according to the Washington Post.



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