Reporter 101: Find A Story And Be A Bulldog

ethan-saylorI’ve been covering the story of Robert “Ethan” Saylor for 11 months now.

Ethan was 26, had Down Syndrome, went to a movie theater the night of January 12, 2013, and never made it home alive.

The backstory is Ethan went with his aide to see “Zero Dark Thirty” that night and liked it so much he wanted to stay and see it again. He made a fuss and, being experienced at knowing how to diffuse the situation, the aide went to get the car. When she came back, Ethan had walked back into the theater and sat down to see the movie again. He did not have the required $12 ticket. Somehow, someway, three security guards went in to the theater and the situation escalated to the point where they physically removed Ethan. The aide was NOT allowed back into the theater to try and offer help of any kind. There’s a lot we don’t know about what happened in that theater. But, we do know the medical examiner in Frederick County, Maryland deemed Ethan’s death a homicide, blaming it on an unexplained injury to his larynx, and those 3 guards, who were actually off-duty Frederick County Sheriff’s deputies, were never charged with any crime.

Ethan’s mom Patti Saylor wants answers. I’ve been trying to get some for her, and for our viewers, as I would do with any story I was assigned.

There’s a change.org petition, there’s a lawsuit, there’s dozens of news stories, there’s a new task force dedicated to training, but there are still no answers.

My big takeaway is I learned there’s a passionate community of people all across the country that feel strongly this should never have been allowed to happen.

I’ve received emails, notes, cards, tweets and Facebook messages from people who advocate for the Down Syndrome community thanking me for my coverage, and sharing personal stories and worries.

One of the people who reached out to me is Gail Zahtz, she’s a media powerhouse and pretty much involved in everything of every subject! She has a Blog Talk radio show and I was honored to be a guest, talking about our Ethan Saylor coverage, and how I got to where I am in this business. I hope you’ll listen, and share with me what you think.

Peace, and happy holidays.

D

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