CRIME

Ethan Saylor death: Vigil held, further investigation pending

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FREDERICK, Md. (WJLA) - Ten months later, the death of Ethan Saylor still grips the Frederick community. And dozens came out on Thursday night to a candlelight vigil to remember him and support his family, as well as vent their frustration over how he died.

"For the rest of their lives, it's definitely going to affect them," said Frederick resident Julia Stewart.

In January of 2013, the 26-year-old with Down syndrome died in police custody due to suffocation. Saylor had watched “Zero Dark Thirty” and then refused to leave the theater -- so three Frederick County deputies moonlighting as security handcuffed and restrained him.

When a grand jury declined to charge the officers, hundreds of thousands signed a petition asking Maryland’s governor to get involved.

Now, Martin O'Malley has appointed a commission looking into whether better training for officers is needed.

"Every individual has to be willing to stop and think and make the best decision possible at the time...training may or may not have helped in Ethan's situation, but it certainly wouldn't have hurt," said his mother, Patti Saylor.

At this vigil, many believe that even more needs to be done.

"We're hoping to raise awareness about his unfortunate death and show the governor that we still need the independent investigation," said Sara Weir, an advocate for Down syndrome.

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