Here’s a Portrait of the Young Man with Down Syndrome…

…who wound up dead at the hands of some cops in Maryland.

God have mercy on them and God rest this sweet soul.

  • Michelle

    God, it makes me sick inside that all those cops had to do was either identify themselves as cops or call for back-up, and (since Ethan idolized cops and was well-known to law enforcement) it is very possible a sweet young man would still be alive today. This only confirms my suspicion that these cops were impatient and rushed the matter because it was considered a petty concern.

    (And, before anyone points it out, yes, I saw in the article where the cops claim that Ethan was cursing, hitting, kicking at them. To which I say to the cops: Boo. Hoo. Why didn’t you properly identify yourselves as cops and show him your badges, as is standard procedure when approaching a citizen in an official capacity? Probably because you thought he was “too stupid” to comprehend.)

  • Margaret

    Throwaway line in the article: there was an aide with him? Where on earth was the y during all this?!?

    • Kathy

      The first news article that I read said that the aide had gone to get the car, which was an acceptable procedure.

  • Anglican Peggy

    Michelle, he was probably scared. It makes me wonder at the supposed “intelligence” of the officers that they didn’t think of that.

    Margaret, that was my question too. Why didn’t they call the mother from the get go before the police were even called? It sounds like she only found out there was an incident after the fact. Imagine that. Did the aide even try to intervene? It boggles the mind.

  • Christina

    The aide bears a huge responsibility for this man’s death. It was the aide’s job to manage Ethan’s behavior and protect him. Presumably, the aide was trained and had experience in dealing with him. When the trouble started, the aide was “getting the car?” Excuse me? The aide apparently left Ethan unattended, did not communicate with theater staff, was not around to intervene on Ethan’s behalf when police were called, and failed to contact Ethan’s mother. Fail fail fail fail. I am not absolving the police. However, the aide was the person who knew Ethan, who deals with disabled people professionally, and whose job it was to protect him during this outing. The neglect and incompetence is appalling.

    • Mark Shea

      No. The people who killed him bear the responsibility. We don’t know anything about the aide. We don’t even know if he tried to intervene.

      • Michelle

        Sorry, Mark, I have to agree with Christina. If Ethan had been a 5-year-old, instead of a man with the mental capacity of a child, no one would be absolving his caretaker for leaving him in the theater without explanation to the staff or appropriate supervision while going to get the car. The caretaker would have been in serious trouble for such an action if this had been a “normal” child.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    If Ethan had been a normal five year old, or a normal person of any age, this would be a huge scandal, and they’d be calling for the heads of these cops on a platter!

    But, he was just a “Retard”, after all, so we’re not supposed to care about this.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Also the cops weren’t even in uniform. Were they technically off duty? (They were working as security guards at a nearby mall, apparently—so they weren’t even working for the theater?) Did they even have the authority to perform an arrest at that point, or use handcuffs on anyone?

    As another poster said about this case, on another thread, if capitalism thinks you’re trying to stiff it—even out of a lousy $11.00 bucks—it’ll call in the enforcers, to make sure it gets its cash!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    According to some accounts, the aide was out, getting the car to bring it closer to the theater. They may have been negligent. Or they may have been too trusting, thinking that it would be okay to go get the car, because the theater would surely see this guy was down syndrome, and not a real danger—in which case, they ascribed too much intelligence, and sensitivity, to the theater, and the rent-a-cop security guards they hauled in.

    Nobody comes across well in this story: not the cops, acting out some kind of “Dirty Harry” fantasy, not the theater, so panicky over an $11.00 ticket, they had to haul in a pair of rent-a-cops. . . nobody.

    The Aurora Colorado shooter, who actually killed people, wasn’t treated this viciously by the cops.

  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

    “We don’t know anything about the aide. We don’t even know if he tried to intervene.?”

    Technically, we don’t know anything about the story but what’s been reported so far by various media outlets and blogs. Probably best to see what happens during the investigation.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Nothing will happen during the investigation.

    The police department itself will look into the matter, reassign the cops who killed the guy, or give them some sort of leave with pay. Nothing will be actually be done.

    • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

      We can’t be sure. That’s the same thing people outside the Church say about the Church regarding the abuse scandal. Almost word for word. I’d like to think both are exaggerations, not just the ones I don’t identify with.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    But, b’gosh, that movie theater managed to save itself $11.00, and didn’t have to have a non-paying customer taking up one of its seats!

    So it’s all good, right? /Sarc.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Yes, Dave G., and the church is still getting gobsmacked by revelations as to just how much was covered up; how many priests, guilty of abuse, were simply moved to different locations, or protected against legal prosecution, and how some church prelates just tried to cover everything up, and hoped it would all just go away. Isn’t this the reason that Cardinal Mahoney was recently relieved of his duties?

  • http://davidgriffey.blogspot.com/ Dave G.

    I thought it was because Cardinal Mahoney was found to be guilty. I could be wrong. That was my assumption: the the stories of gross Catholic corruption are overstated. Not that no corruption happened, but our first assumption with anything to do with the Church ought not be ‘ah, there will be corruption’. Picking a Pope? Corruption. Dealing with a crisis? Corruption. See what I mean?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Well, no, Dave, I really don’t.

    The fact that some people have unjustly accused the church of corruption (and the Mahoney case proves that such accusations were not completely unsubstantiated, or just bolts from the blue), doesn’t automatically mean that all concerns about corruption are meaningless; it doesn’t mean that suspecting this police department might be all too willing to sweep things under the rug, and just hope everybody forgets about it; that these cops might never receive justice for what they did, isn’t unreasonable, any more than those who suspected some church prelates were up to no good in the pedophilia scandal, turned out to be unreasonable. And how long has it taken for Mahoney to receive any kind of rebuke, or official condemnation at all? This has been going on for years.

    Sometimes, the world turns out to be a very “exaggerated” place.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X