Lawsuit filed in theater death case

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Lesson Title

Lawsuit filed in theater death case

E-Newscast Video Link

Video Length

Two minutes and thirty-four seconds

Grade Level

High School & Above


A lawsuit has been filed this October regarding the death of Robert “Ethan” Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor, who had Down syndrome, became agitated after watching Zero Dark Thirty, at a movie theater. Police officers on the scene forced him to lie on his stomach on the ground, where he immediately began having trouble breathing and died. Frederick County’s grand jury declined to indict the officers.

Review Questions

How many people have already signed a petition to reopen Saylor’s case? What does this amount of support suggest about how the general public feels about the grand jury’s decision?

In the end, why weren’t the officers charged with homicide?

Free writing “Journal” Prompt

Do you think the officers were treating Saylor differently because of his disability?

What other examples can you think of that relate to police response to people with disabilities?

What about this report do you have questions about, or want to know more about?