A grand just just announced on Friday that they will not indict a Maryland police officer who killed an unarmed man who had Down Syndrome.
“They felt no further investigation was necessary,” Frederick County State’s Attorney J. Charles Smith, said about the death of Robert Ethan Saylor, 26.
Smith explained at a news conference just outside of the county courthouse, that “no crime had been committed.”
As with all grand juries, the proceedings were held in secrecy. Three deputies involved in the death were Lt. Scott Jewell, Sgt. Rich Rochford and Deputy First Class James Harris.
Saylor’s parents said they were “extremely disappointed and saddened and concerned.”
“This is a really hard day for them,” their attorney Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum said.
“They’re going to have to digest this unsettling news and determine their next step.”
The killing happened when cops arrived to force Saylor to leave a movie theater after he wanted to see “Zero Dark Thirty” a second time.
Police justified their killing by explaining that Saylor verbally and physically resisted their attempts to remove him from the theater.
Because of his large size, the officers say they had to use three sets of handcuffs on him and placed him on his stomach for “one to two minutes”. When he showed signs of distress, officers said they administered CPR and other First Aid. But back in February, the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore said that Saylor’s death was a homicide resulting from asphyxia.
Just as in the case of Eric Garner, the police have said that being obese “contributed” to Saylor’s death, making him “more susceptible to breathing problems.”
They also added that having Down Syndrome made him more susceptible to death, but they did not explain how. Once again, police and prosecutors have proven that when there is no weapon, they will grasp at any explanation to explain why it is the victim’s fault that they died from police brutality.
(Article by Zeidy David)