Police Abuse

Sheriff's Department Stonewalls Investigation Into Death of Man With Down Syndrome

A homicide has already been ruled in the case of Robert Ethan Saylor


WITH EVERY passing day, the appearance grows that Frederick County officials, especially the sheriff, Charles Jenkins, have something to hide in the case of a man with Down syndrome who died in a scuffle with law enforcement officers.

The movie-theater confrontation between Robert Ethan Saylor and off-duty sheriff's deputies over an unpaid $12 movie ticket occurred nearly six months ago. There has still been no adequate public accounting of the events surrounding this senseless incident, which was ruled a homicide resulting from asphyxia.

Mr. Jenkins promised transparency, vowing that "all the facts will be presented when the investigation is complete." What can he be waiting for?

An editorial on Mr. Saylor's tragic Jan. 12 death appeared on this page last month. We return to the topic because in the interim, prosecutors in Alexandria have provided a counter-example of transparency and accountability in an incident that took place at about the same time. Mr. Jenkins could glance across the Potomac and take a lesson.