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Robert Saylor, Man With Down Syndrome, Dies of Suffocation While in Police Custody Over Movie
Opposing Views ^ | February 19, 2013 | Michael Allen

Posted on 02/21/2013 9:13:55 PM PST by Altariel

Robert Saylor, a 26-year-old man with Down Syndrome, died of suffocation while in the custody of three off-duty sheriff’s deputies last month, according to the ruling of the Baltimore County Medical Examiner’s office (video below).

According to WJLA-TV, Saylor liked the movie 'Zero Dark Thirty' and wanted to watch another showing. However, a Regal Cinema employee asked Saylor to leave.

When Saylor refused to leave, the employee summoned theater security, which was three off-duty sheriff’s deputies: Lt. Scott Jewell, Sgt. Rich Rochford and Deputy First Class James Harris.

The three security guards handcuffed Saylor and threw his face on the ground where police say he had a “medical emergency," which was likely a struggle to breathe.

Jennifer Bailey, of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, said in a statement: “They made numerous attempts to get him to leave, he was cursing at them, at that point they physically removed him, and he began having the medical emergency.”

Bailey said the off-duty deputies “immediately removed the handcuffs and administered first aid” when they noticed Saylor going into distress.

Saylor was later pronounced dead at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, Maryland.

The case is now under investigation by the Maryland State Attorney’s Office.

Patti Saylor, Robert’s mother, stated that her son “has never had anyone put their hands on him in his life. He would not have been doing anything threatening to anybody.”

Source: WJLA-TV


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: deathincustody; donutwatch; downsyndrome; robertsaylor
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1 posted on 02/21/2013 9:14:07 PM PST by Altariel
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To: Altariel

Jackbootlickers to show up in 3... 2... 1...


2 posted on 02/21/2013 9:17:17 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Altariel
“They made numerous attempts to get him to leave, he was cursing at them, at that point they physically removed him, and he began having the medical emergency.”

Can't say that I'm an expert or anything, but I have never met a person with Downs syndrome who would ever need to be restrained. All that I have met are very peaceful people.

3 posted on 02/21/2013 9:27:32 PM PST by Ditto
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To: Altariel

Now I can recognize a downs syndrome kid pretty easily tho some are more obvious than others. One thing they all seem to have is a sweet nature.

Why in the world did they handcuff then throw him face first on the ground? I suspect it was to injure him a bit and show who was boss as if a downs kid needed to be shown.

I would just about bet that I could have gotten the kid out of there with no physical force at all, except maybe very minimal.


4 posted on 02/21/2013 9:32:06 PM PST by yarddog (One shot one miss.)
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To: Altariel

My youngest brother has Down’s syndrome so I know what I am stating - these cops are murderers and they are trying to cover their arses because of their monumental screw-up. Of course, since they are cops and likely UNION cops in a deep blue state, they will face ABSOLUTELY no punishment for their crime.

My condolences to the family of the victim.


5 posted on 02/21/2013 9:32:54 PM PST by 43north (BHO: 50% black, 50% white, 100% RED)
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To: Altariel

It’s pretty easy to spot a Down Syndrome person. These cops are pieces of s***.


6 posted on 02/21/2013 9:36:07 PM PST by EEGator
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To: Kevmo

No foul play here....Move on. /sarc


7 posted on 02/21/2013 9:41:23 PM PST by Revel
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To: Ditto

Ditto.


8 posted on 02/21/2013 9:55:13 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: Kevmo

“Jackbootlickers to show up in 3... 2... 1...”

IMHO, those are correctly called “copsuckers”.

But, I could be wrong.


9 posted on 02/21/2013 10:05:53 PM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."..)
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To: Altariel

****Saylor liked the movie ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and wanted to watch another showing. However, a Regal Cinema employee asked Saylor to leave.****

Since when do you have to leave between movies? It used to be you could go to the movies when the theater opened, watch a double feature twice and leave when the theater closed.


10 posted on 02/21/2013 10:10:51 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar ( Too old to cut the mustard any more.)
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To: Altariel

The thugs with badges will use their get-out-of-jail-free card - “I feared for my life!”.


11 posted on 02/21/2013 10:11:58 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Kevmo

I’m surprised the cops didn’t shoot a dog in the vicinity! I guess they had to make up for the lack.


12 posted on 02/21/2013 10:13:47 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Maybe they ran out of little girls in wheelchairs.


13 posted on 02/21/2013 10:18:19 PM PST by Blackirish (Forward Comrades!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Ditto
It is common knowledge that cuffing somebody and leaving them on their stomach for a prolonged period can lead to positional asphyxia.

That theater must be in a really sweet part of town to require three off duty cops for security.

14 posted on 02/21/2013 10:30:23 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
Since when do you have to leave between movies? It used to be you could go to the movies when the theater opened, watch a double feature twice and leave when the theater closed.

You quite obviously never went to a showing of "Star Wars" when it was first released.

The lines waiting to get in zigzagged through the parking lot, and you could get in line before eleven AM and not get in before dark -and everytime the movie ended, you could hear the cheering clear outside. This from a complex that had four different theatre rooms, two of which were playing staggered showings, mind!

It was worth the wait.

(Not saying that THIS movie was, necessarily.)

15 posted on 02/21/2013 10:33:25 PM PST by Utilizer (What does not kill you... -can sometimes damage you QUITE severely.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
I agree. I have done the same thing.

The real point is that they should have let the guy stay for the next showing. He wasn't hurting anyone and the cost of a $9 movie ticket is no excuse to get physical with a man that is obviously mentally delayed.

This type of story really makes me mad. I know that this guy just being born these days is way against the odds in the first place in our superficial culture. To basically beat him to death should warrant career ending disciplinary charges as well as a potential prison sentence for these three idiots with badges! I also hope that Regal Cinema gets a multi million dollar judgment against them and the manager loses his job. He should have let it slide.

16 posted on 02/21/2013 11:20:08 PM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: Utilizer

I saw Star Wars with my brother when it first came out. Theatre was crowded, maybe sold out. Went back following week with my father and brother. My dad liked it so much we stayed for the next showing. No problem at all. Never heard a thing about it.

This was in one of those old single screen monster 1,000 seat theatres built in the 30’s and 40’s. It was crowded, but there where empty seats. Even in the balcony.


17 posted on 02/21/2013 11:24:28 PM PST by Jim from C-Town (The government is rarely benevolent, often malevolent and never benign!)
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To: EEGator
Down syndrome folks are basically defenseless....they are childlike,trusting,and have physical limitations that impede fighting back or even running very fast....

yet we have three power hungry hateful cops throwing this guy to the ground...he probably was a foot shorter than any of them....big men....really big men...

18 posted on 02/22/2013 12:44:34 AM PST by cherry
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To: Altariel

Odd.
The words “fired”, “arrested” nor even “suspended” do not appear in this article. The perpetrators of this awful crime are not even named.


19 posted on 02/22/2013 1:25:40 AM PST by Bon mots (Abu Ghraib: 47 Times on the front page of the NY Times | Benghazi: 2 Times)
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To: Altariel

I question why the theater would not let him re-watch the movie. Rarely do people want to re-watch a movie. When they do, they do for a good reason. They might have to leave the movie for a trip to the restroom or to answer a cell phone call. They might decide to make a quick trip to the snack bar, only to find themselves in a slow line. With the many things that can interrupt a movie; that one spent good money to watch, there is no good reason to prevent one from the full enjoyment of that movie. Then need for a second viewing is necessary.


20 posted on 02/22/2013 2:12:17 AM PST by jonrick46 (The opium of Communists: other people's money.)
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: jonrick46
Just say no to theaters. It will be on TV soon.

I think the first Star Wars was the last movie I saw in a theater. My kids just had to see it. They are now in their 40s.

22 posted on 02/22/2013 4:14:01 AM PST by tdscpa
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To: tdscpa
Just say no to theaters. It will be on TV soon.

Exactly...why finance the left?

23 posted on 02/22/2013 4:25:34 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: yarddog
"Why in the world did they handcuff then throw him face first on the ground?"

They didn't. According to the article author:

"The three security guards handcuffed Saylor and threw his face on the ground ....."

Reads as if they removed his face.

In seriousness and sadness, RIP Robert

24 posted on 02/22/2013 4:27:06 AM PST by 1_Rain_Drop
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To: Altariel
theater security, which was three off-duty sheriff’s deputies

It's amazing the number of government hirelings that have side jobs. Government folk seem to be some of the hardest working people out there. Either that or they get to pretty much sleep through their day job.

25 posted on 02/22/2013 4:43:20 AM PST by Reeses
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To: Altariel

Dreadful. RIP.


26 posted on 02/22/2013 4:57:11 AM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Altariel

First, you have the initial employee who made contact with Robert. This employee is most likely a product of our illustrious public school system, where our youth are so well socialized and indoctrinated to tolerate others, and think on their own, that this employee was able to recognize and empathize with a disabled person. Oh, wait, this didn’t happen?

Then you have the caring public servants, police officers, that understand they are to support their neighbors in the community and recognize and empathize with a disabled person. Oh, wait, this didn’t happen?

People get so caught up in the “rules” that no one thinks anymore.


27 posted on 02/22/2013 4:57:56 AM PST by ican'tbelieveit (School is prison for children who have commited the crime of being born. (attr: St_Thomas_Aquinas))
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To: Altariel

The very first thing I do when I arrest somebody is throw their face on the ground.

What exactly does that mean? I know what it means, the writer of the story is biased. I’ve been the victim of liberal bias in the newspaper myself.

Just last week Chris Dorner was a great guy who got railroaded and BBQ’d by LAPD.

I listened to Beck yesterday. He had the sheriff on the phone that was involved in the electric meter fiasco. After getting the sheriff’s side of the story Beck said the sheriff sounded like a reasonable man. The sheriff gave information that Beck didn’t have.

Beck shot from the hip. He didn’t apologize but he sure danced around an apology. After he got some information from the sheriff he ended the conversation by asking the sheriff where he stood on the 2nd amendment as if that was going to be his final ‘gotcha.’ Seems the sheriff was pro 2nd amendment too and Glenn’s story fizzled. Get both sides first then do what you gotta do. Trial by media usually leaves egg on a lot of faces and I bet Glenn learned a lesson. At least I hope he did.

Our dept. wanted less injuries to people when they were arrested so they gave us pepper spray. One of our guys pepper sprayed a man and he died. They gave us tazers. People die from being tazered.

Are there legitimate instances of police brutality. Yes. Is this one of them? We don’t know yet.

Is there bias in the liberal media against the police. Yes. And in my opinion people who believe it, especially people who claim to be conservative, look stupid wiping the egg off of their faces afterward.

There are way too many legitimate things to go after the police for rather than jumping on National Enquirer alien stories.


28 posted on 02/22/2013 5:27:35 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: cherry

Hopefully Karma exists.


29 posted on 02/22/2013 5:36:21 AM PST by EEGator
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To: Cap'n Crunch

This man’s death has been ruled a homicide.

http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/02/robert-saylor-s-death-file-sent-to-top-prosecutor-85454.html

I find it unbelievable that you are defending assaulting a man who is mentally a child.

A man should not have died for want of one movie ticket. Period.


30 posted on 02/22/2013 5:57:40 AM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel

Of course it was ruled a homicide. It wasn’t a suicide. The coroner only has a few choices. All police involved ‘homicides’ go to the prosecutor for review.

Where did I defend assaulting the mentally ill?

You weren’t there. Neither was I. Until all the facts come out I don’t know how reasonable people can condemn the officers. That’s all I’m saying.


31 posted on 02/22/2013 6:08:53 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: Cap'n Crunch

” Until all the facts come out I don’t know how reasonable people can condemn the officers. That’s all I’m saying.”

Ever heard the old line “Get the net, Fred!”?

Welcome to the new United Police States of America.

Your papers, prease.


32 posted on 02/22/2013 6:18:47 AM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."..)
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To: Altariel

This is from your own link:

Saylor died of asphyxiation Jan. 12 after three sheriff’s deputies tried to forcibly remove him from a Frederick movie theater at the manager’s request. The state medical examiner’s office has ruled the death a homicide.

“There did come a point when they had to remove him from his seat,” says Jenkins. “There was no excess force. They did have to handcuff Mr. Saylor and unfortunately as they were walking out he suffered a medical emergency.”

Smith says the file doesn’t include the final autopsy report on Saylor. He says his office will need that document to complete its investigation.

~~~~~

The autopsy report isn’t even in yet. It looks to me that the physical exertion may have been too much for him. This is very unfortunate.

My 55 year old obese brother in law takes his teenage son to the movies. He brags about paying for one movie and then jumping from movie to movie and spending the whole day in the theater.

In my opinion it’s stealing. And he’s teaching his son to steal.

If he was ordered to leave by the police and did the same thing that happened here, I wouldn’t feel sorry for him if he keeled over. And it would be ruled a homicide.

People die from over exerting themselves during arrest, it’s going to happen. Cops die from over exertion while fighting with people.

Maybe we should just give overweight people who break the law a pass if they start to resist. Or people that might have a mental problem. I’ve had to fight with plenty of both.

Maybe we shouldn’t enforce trespassing laws on obese or mentally disturbed people? Maybe we should do away with private property, that way there will be no trespassing problems.

Maybe we should stop making arrests for anything except violent felonies. Just issue a summons and hope they show up for court.


33 posted on 02/22/2013 6:30:22 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: Cap'n Crunch

Maybe we shouldn’t handcuff down syndrome people and throw them face first into the ground. I was a soldier for 10 years, so my experience is a bit different than yours, but overseas we deal with people like this, and more than often enough, calm kind words win the day. There is no defense to the cop’s behavior in this situation.


34 posted on 02/22/2013 6:35:35 AM PST by Bulwyf
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To: Bulwyf

Thanks for your service. I’ll ask you the same question, were you there? I will tell you up front that I was not. Who is the person that said the cops threw him face first onto the ground?

Can you show me (I’m not saying it doesn’t exist) an eyewitness statement that says these cops “threw him face first onto the ground.”

Of all the media reports I have read, I have yet to find one witness who said the cops threw this kid face first to the ground.

The only comment I have found about the use of force in this case was by the sheriff who said there was no excessive force.

I did read one article which said he was accompanied by a home health aid. But there is no statement from the home health aid, that I have found that says the cops slammed him to the ground.

I have seen headlines that say that he was “suffocated by police.” What kind of BS is that?

I’ve been dealing with mentally ill people for nearly 30 years. Sometimes they fight. Sometimes you have no choice. Many times the mental health facilities (physicians) that treat them call us (nearly every day where I work, I had 2 yesterday) to subdue them when they cannot talk them down.

Again, I am saying, the police may have done everything right and this young man died. It is tragic. To blame the police immediately before all the facts are revealed is irresponsible.


35 posted on 02/22/2013 7:04:29 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: Utilizer

Actually I did see STAR WARS when it was first released. Same thing, continual shows. If you walked in after it started you could still stay for the next showing. Only the high dollar “Road Shows” were more picky. When they went to general release again you could stay for the next showing.


36 posted on 02/22/2013 7:24:19 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar ( Too old to cut the mustard any more.)
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To: Altariel

Sounds like each of the 3 should be charged with 2nd drgree murder.


37 posted on 02/22/2013 11:31:00 AM PST by BuffaloJack (Guns should not be illegal; they should be undocumented.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

I’m surprised the cops didn’t shoot a dog in the vicinity!
***They got around to it.

Update On Lily The Slain Border Collie (Shot and Killed by Cops)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2990298/posts


38 posted on 02/22/2013 6:10:20 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: GladesGuru

IMHO, those are correctly called “copsuckers”.
***Ouch. Jackbootlicking copsuckers. Brutal.


39 posted on 02/22/2013 6:19:34 PM PST by Kevmo ("A person's a person, no matter how small" ~Horton Hears a Who)
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To: Cap'n Crunch

People with Down Syndrome are NOT “mentally ill”.


40 posted on 02/22/2013 7:30:12 PM PST by Politicalmom (Liberalism. Ideas so great they have to be mandatory.-FReeper Osage Orange)
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To: Cap'n Crunch

If the officers did everything right, the young man would not have died.

It is known that restraining someone and leaving them prone for too long results in asphyxiation. By restraining this man and leaving him prone, they caused his death.

Anyone who looks at this man can tell he has Down Syndrome, which is a genetic abnormality, not a mental disorder.

Indeed, no evidence has been presented, other than the word of the government employees responsible for his death, that he was violent.

The word of a government employee should always be treated with due credulity unless it is verified with substantive evidence.


41 posted on 02/22/2013 10:19:39 PM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Bulwyf

Indeed. Peace officers once held to the same standard-—keep the peace, work to diffuse situations, not escalate them.

Unfortunately, the remaining peace officers seem to have retired, been removed from the ranks, or have gone to other fields.


42 posted on 02/22/2013 10:53:09 PM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Cap'n Crunch

Being restrained and kept too long in a prone position will cause *anyone* to asphyxiate.

You are attempting to compare apples to pianos; your brother does not have down syndrome; this poor man had down syndrome.

Your further red herrings demonstrate your incapability to defend the practice of restraining a man and keeping him in a prone position over-long resulting in asphyxiation.


43 posted on 02/22/2013 11:42:21 PM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel

We’re you there? How long did they have him on the ground? Since you must have been there and know more information than all the thin, biased articles you can fill us all in.

The article posted by someone that shares your opinion says they were walking him out when things went bad.

I understand the emotional and tragic aspect of this. But when people start emoting rather than thinking, example, remember this: “We all know the police acted stupidly” you end up having to put on a beer summit to smooth things over when things were not as they seemed.

I thought conservatives were supposed to be the ones that thought with their brains rather than emote. I guess that’s not always the case.


44 posted on 02/23/2013 4:09:16 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: Altariel

I love it when people wax nostalgic about how ‘old time’ cops used to do things. I worked with those ‘old timers.’ They’d crack your skull open with a blackjack faster, and without reason before you could turn around and put your hands behind your back to be handcuffed.

Your first trip would be in the paddy wagon for booking, the next trip would be to the hospital to get stitched up.


45 posted on 02/23/2013 4:15:00 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
Since when do you have to leave between movies? It used to be you could go to the movies when the theater opened, watch a double feature twice and leave when the theater closed.

It's also poor management by the theater. The VAST majority of their net revenue (ie, profit) comes from food and drink sales. The longer patrons stay, the more they will consume, and the more the theater will make. Unless he was driving away other patrons, or the theaters were full (that film was released over 2 months ago, so that isn't likely), it was a bone-headed move to try to remove him in the first place.

46 posted on 02/23/2013 4:19:18 AM PST by Teacher317 ('Tis time to fear when tyrants seem to kiss.)
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To: Cap'n Crunch

Long enough to assure his asphyxiation, clearly.

The unlawful death of a man who did nothing deserving of his fatal sentence is not adequately summarized by “things went bad”.

But thank you for posting here, and reminding Free Republic that there are still those who will literally defend murder.

When a government employee commits it.


47 posted on 02/24/2013 7:37:08 AM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Cap'n Crunch; All
And thank you for further establishing your inability to substantiate your claims, and your willingness to celebrate thuggish behavior.

Peace officers who follow Robert Peel's principles would not have escalated to unnecessary force.

Government employee thugs, then as now, would ignore Robert Peel's principles when it suited their ends.

For those unfamiliar with Robert Peel's principles (and those who are ignoring their application to this case, let's review:

1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.

Whoops. A crime was committed. First failure.

2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.

This and other incidents decreases public approval of police actions. Second failure.

3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

This and other incidents fail to maintain the respect of the public. Third failure.

4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

Physical force is unnecessary to talk to a man who must have things explained to him at a child's level. Fourth failure.

5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

There are clear laws against causing another man's death, against assault, and against using unnecessary force. Fifth failure.

6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.

Physical force used far beyond the extent necessary. Sixth failure.

7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

Failure to maintain this relationship. Seventh failure.

8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

By ensuring his death, they effectively became this man's jury. Eighth failure.

9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

Pretending that this test is not in effect, and that the "visible evidence" is what counts. Ninth failure.

48 posted on 02/24/2013 7:48:10 AM PST by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: Altariel

Robert Peel? Really? hahahahaha. How many cops do you think have a clue who Robert Peel was?

You can quote and tout every nice maxim and writing about police work that you care to, it all goes out the window when the rubber meets the road.

You can do everything by the Marquis of Queensbury’s rules and STILL be Dr. Evil in the newspapers. Been there, done that.

Dollars to donuts, IN THIS CASE, the cops will not be charged. But, people will believe what they want to believe.

If there were credible witnesses of police brutality the newspapers would be citing them, including from the home health aid that was accompanying this young man. They wouldn’t have to make up lines like: “smothered by police.”


49 posted on 02/24/2013 8:37:51 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: Altariel

All you have to do is answer the question: Were you there?

It is a rhetorical question because you and I both know the answer: NO.

Since you were not there you do not know what happened. Falsely accusing someone of wrongdoing until you know EXACTLY what happened is irresponsible.


50 posted on 02/24/2013 8:41:37 AM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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