Freedom of Speech
a change in attitudes,
a change in understanding,
and a change in police training.
She listed several ways in which local law enforcement, federal entities, and the private sector across the nation have reacted to her son's death and pointed out the reluctance of the office involved, the Frederick County Sheriff's office, to accept any responsibility or work proactively to prevent future tragedies.
These facts bring me to the missed opportunity — all these people and organizations are not blaming the victim. They know changes in policy, practices and training will prevent similar incidents in the future.
Unfortunately, the reaction to it, printed today, was not so eloquent.
Resorting to Personal Attacks
I would suggest Patti go to the bathroom, look in the mirror and face the blame. What was she doing that night so important she could not accompany Ethan to the movie? I know we all need time alone, however, she should have known better to send him out in public with someone ill-equipped to handle him. If she couldn’t go, keep him home in his comfort zone or send him with someone properly trained. According to The News-Post, she directed his care provider to leave him alone in the theater, another mistake for which she is to blame. Her poor choices are to blame and she should accept responsibility.
First of all, he proclaims that "Patti Saylor blames Sheriff Chuck Jenkins." If she does, she has never said so publicly. On the contrary, she has gone out of her way to avoid placing blame. What she HAS done is advocate strongly for better police training while asking for details about what happened that night. Jenkins and the Sheriff's office filed an internal report about the "incident" which was full of holes and NEVER addressed the issue of how Ethan's larynx was crushed.
Which brings me to another problem with Gary Jenkins' argument:
According to The Frederick News-Post, all witnesses conveyed that security did not act inappropriately or mistreat him in any way.
- Witness statements were taken by officers in the same department as those who were involved.
- At least one of the officers was still present in the theater when initial statements were given.
- Witnesses were re-called - made to appear at the Sheriff headquarters and specifically asked if they saw any of the deputies touch Ethan's neck (an obvious sign that they knew the cause of his death)
- None of the witnesses were able to see what happened once Ethan was taken to the ground - the group was behind a half-wall, hidden from view of any onlookers.
So just because witnesses could not see any wrongdoing, does not mean that none exists. Ethan didn't do it to himself. Patti didn't do it. Ethan's healthcare worker who was NOT ALLOWED to enter the theater until after he had been taken down and was unresponsive didn't do it.
Somebody did. Somebody who STILL wears a Frederick County Sheriff's Deputy badge did. Somebody knows how it happened and I'm guessing that Chuck AND Gary both know - but they're not telling. The only way we may ever find out is if the Sheriff and his Deputies are subpoenaed to testify in the civil case that the Saylor family was forced to file.
Ignorance on a Larger Scale
What he has accomplished by writing this letter is to reveal the worst about his family, and some of the rest of our society. He has succeeded in re-igniting the fire under parents, like me, who advocate for equitable treatment of adults with intellectual disabilities. Hopefully, he's made the case for change and helped Karl Bickel in his quest to replace his brother.
If you'd like to help support Patti in her mission to replace Chuck Jenkins, please read her request and Buy Ethan's Movie Ticket to support Karl Bickel's campaign for Sheriff of Frederick County, Maryland.