March for Ethan 7

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LB20130327(March for Ethan)A fellow blogger wrote this post about the need to March for Ethan.

For those of you that don’t know, Robert Ethan Saylor was a 26 year old with Down Syndrome.  He was killed in January 2013 by off-duty Sheriff deputies in Frederick, Maryland. They used an antiquated and long-abandoned method of “hog-tying” Ethan, causing him to choke to death while he begged for help from his Mother. A less than enthusiastic  grand jury  cleared the sheriffs of any wrongdoing in a death that the coroner has ruled a “homicide”.

I couldn’t agree more with the need for a March for Ethan.  Though I didn’t know Ethan, his death has struck me at my core.    Even still  – being a special needs parent with limited time as it is – I can’t escape daily life to march.

Oh, how I’d love to march in person, though. Could you imagine a thousand of us in front of the Frederick Sheriff’s Office, calling for an independent investigation?

But I can blog. I can write letters. I can send emails. I can make phone calls.  I can post on Facebook. I can Tweet (well, I can’t, but some of you are really good at it).  I can start a blogroll.  I can raise money.  I can spend 15 minutes a day doing something to March for Ethan. (After all, I quit smoking 5 months ago, and have been looking for a way to fill up the time I would have spent smoking a cigarette right now).

So, let’s use this opportunity to start an “Online March for Ethan”.

For now, let’s grow the movement.  In the comment section below, tell me what you will do to make sure that Ethan’s death is not in vain.    There’s so much that can be done, but its going to take creativity:

1) Does Ethan’s family need a legal fund to pursue a civil rights suit against a deep-pocketed government agency?

2) Can you educate local police in your area that Down Syndrome is not a mental health condition?

3) Can you write a draft letter calling for an independent investigation and circulate it to your readers to send to the Maryland State Government Officials – let’s flood the Attorney General, the Governor, the Fredneck Mayor, the Fredneck Sheriff with letters expressing outrage.

4) Can you call your legislator or local mayor and educate him or her about Robert Ethan Saylor?

5) Can you organize a real live March for Ethan in Fredneck Maryland, or on the steps of the Maryland Statehouse, or in front of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office?

6) Can you contact a celebrity, or singer, or comedian, or someone that you know with a loud public voice to back this cause?  We are 6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon – how many degrees separate us  from a celebrity that can help raise awareness to the injustice of Ethan’s death?

7)Can you use your blog, facebook page, twitter, pinterest, Google+1,  or other social media account to raise awareness of the March for Ethan?  If Twitter can foment rebellion in Egypt, what can it do here, in the United States?

8) Summon all your creativity, think of something that your special talents enables you to do better than anyone, and use it to March for Ethan.

I’ll go first:   I will work to TRAIN OUR POLICE.

Better police training in use-of-force and de-escalation of violence  geared specifically to Down Syndrome citizens would have prevented Ethan’s death.

I will work to explore every way to bring together medical, police, and education experts to train our nation’s Law Enforcement to respond better to situations involving Citizens with Down Syndrome.


Email  your blog URL to me, and I will send you a Little Bird sketch like the one above that you can display on your blog and will link to it in a separate post. Here’s my email: dad at littlebirdsdad dot com   Help me out by putting “March for Ethan” in the subject line.

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