State lawmakers have approved a proposal to open a Maryland Department of Disabilities alliance named after Ethan Saylor, a Frederick County man with Down syndrome who died during an encounter with off-duty sheriff's deputies.
The alliance would seek to involve developmentally or intellectually disabled people in training law enforcement officers. Disability advocates have stressed the importance of relationships between police officers and those who have disabilities.
Saylor, a 26-year-old man from New Market, died in early 2013 while off-duty Frederick County sheriff's deputies were removing him from a movie theater.
The Maryland House of Delegates today gave final passage to a bill creating the Ethan Saylor Alliance for Self-Advocates. The proposal will now go to Gov. Larry Hogan, who will decide whether to sign it into law.
Sen. Ron Young, D-District 3, and Delegate Carol Krimm, D-District 3A, both sponsored bills this session to create a independent center to identify self-advocates who could act as trainers for law enforcement, educators, emergency responders, court officials and other community members. Lawmakers changed the proposal so that the center became an alliance within the disabilities department.