source: Washington Post
published: 24 April 2018
The family of Robert Ethan Saylor, a man with Down syndrome who died after three off-duty Frederick County sheriff deputies forced him from a movie theater, have reached a settlement with the state of Maryland, the deputies and the management company of the shopping center where the theater is located.
The $1.9 million settlement will mark the end of a long-standing lawsuit and comes more than five years after Saylor’s death led to public outrage and a call for better training of law enforcement officials.
“There’s a cliche that you can’t assign a dollar amount to a human being’s life, but that is our system, that’s the only remedy we have for justice in our system,” Saylor’s mother, Patti Saylor, said Tuesday. “We’re not comforted by the money as much as knowing we gave our son everything we could, that we stood up for him until we exhausted all avenues for standing up for him. Because his life mattered. What happened to him should not have happened.”
The 26-year-old who went by his middle name was obsessed with law enforcement when he and an aide went to watch “Zero Dark Thirty” at the Westview Promenade shopping center on Jan. 12, 2013. After the movie, while his aide went to get the car, Saylor slipped back into the theater for a second showing without paying for a ticket.
After he refused to leave, a theater manager called the deputies who, after a confrontation, forced him from his seat.