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Md. Gov. O'Malley meets with Saylor family

Thursday - 9/5/2013, 6:09pm  ET

Ethan Saylor's family reacts

WTOP's Kate Ryan reports

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has met with the family of a man with Down syndrome who died in the custody of Frederick County sheriff's deputies last January.

The Frederick News-Post (http://bit.ly/15BUyte ) reports that Robert Ethan Saylor's mother Patti spoke to reporters after meeting with O'Malley Thursday in Annapolis.

She says O'Malley spoke about taking action to require police training about people with Down syndrome. And she says the Democratic governor will consider the family's plea for an independent investigation of Saylor's death.

The 26-year-old died of asphyxia as three deputies, moonlighting as mall security officers, tried to remove him from a movie theater because he hadn't bought a ticket for a repeat viewing.

A Frederick County grand jury declined to indict the deputies for what was ruled a homicide.

The governor's office later issued the following statement:

The death of Ethan Saylor is a tragedy, and we are exploring all options to ensure that this never happens to another Marylander again. The Governor had a very good meeting today with Ethan Saylor's family and with an advocate for individuals with Down syndrome.

This tragedy has already been investigated by the Frederick County Sheriff's Office and a Frederick County grand jury, and there is a third investigation currently underway by the U.S. Department of Justice. So although the Governor is considering an investigation, he is more focused on forward-looking strategies to protect the safety and rights of all people, including those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and promoting a better understanding of all our neighbors.

The Governor joins with the many people in Maryland and across the nation to mourn Ethan's loss of life. In the coming days, we will announce actions aimed at improving training for law enforcement personnel and other first responders so that we can do everything we can to ensure this never happens again.

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Information from: The Frederick (Md.) News-Post, http://www.fredericknewspost.com


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