Md. Gov. O'Malley Meets With Family of Man With Down Syndrome Who Died in Custody

Thursday, Sep 5, 2013  |  Updated 6:19 PM EDT
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Md. Gov. O'Malley Meets With Saylor Family

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Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is committed to improving police training after a man with Down syndrome died in the custody of Frederick County deputies in January, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

The Democratic governor is considering all options after meeting Thursday with Robert Ethan Saylor's family members, spokeswoman Takirra Winfield said.

The Frederick News-Post reported that the governor wanted to hear the family's concerns about Saylor's death.

O'Malley has been exploring ways to better educate police about people with developmental disabilities, Winfield said. His administration aims to ensure that such an incident is never repeated.

O'Malley hasn't decided whether to order an independent investigation into Saylor's death, she said. Saylor's family created a petition seeking such an investigation.

:So although the governor is considering an investigation, he is more focused on forward-looking strategies to protect the safety and rights of all people, including those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and promoting a better understanding of all our neighbors," read a statement from Winfield.

The 26-year-old died of asphyxia as three deputies, moonlighting as mall security officers, tried to remove him from a movie theater because he hadn't bought a ticket for a repeat viewing.

A Frederick County grand jury declined to indict the deputies for what was ruled a homicide.

A U.S. Department of Justice investigation is under way.

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