Day 8 – Trees, Accreditation, and Continued Support – 8 MORE Days of #JusticeForEthan

From the Archive

Weight of the world

As I bring this chapter to an end, there are three things I’d like us to do in this, the final week of 8 MORE Days for Ethan:
  1. Celebrate Father’s Day with the Saylors by planting a tree in Ethan’s honor.
  2. Let the committee from CALEA know why we think the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office does NOT deserve re-accreditation.
  3. Continue to support the Saylors’ efforts to get #JusticeForEthan.

 

 

 

 

Seedlings for Justice

 

This Father’s Day, (Sunday, June 16th) show Ethan’s father, Ron, and the rest of the Saylors that we still believe.  Plant a tree in Ethan’s honor.  The event page on Facebook can be found here if you’d like to add your name to the list.  We’d love to see a picture posted there too!  Let’s plant a forest of “seedlings for justice.”

Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Seeks Re-Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA)
Published May 29th, 2013:

As part of the on-site assessment, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments at a public information session scheduled for Monday, June 17, 2013 at 7:00 P.M. in the Frederick County Law Enforcement Center’s first floor conference room located at 110 Airport Drive East, Frederick, Maryland. If for some reason an individual can’t speak at the public information session but would like to provide comments to the assessment team, he/she may do so by telephone. The public may call 301-600-4071 on Monday, June 17, 2013 between the hours of 1:00 P.M. and 3:00 P.M.

Let’s base our letters, phone calls, and personal appearances on the information specific to the accreditation process.

Assuming that the FCSO is attempting to gain the lower level accreditation, tier 1, they will be looking to assert their ability to comply with 188 standards. Several of these appear to apply to Ethan’s case.

The first and probably most important area is the “Use of Force” section.  The officers involved used a considerable amount of force on an unarmed man.  The force needed to fracture the cartilage in Ethan’s throat remains unexplained.   Standards require “reporting uses of force” and “removal of line of duty assignment, use of force.”  The officers involved were not removed from duty until February 20th.

Sheriff Jenkins responded in an article published in the Frederick News Post:

“I looked at what was in the best interest of the public, the family and the deputies.”

“The investigation is “99 percent” complete, with investigators needing to conduct a few follow-up interviews and receive the report from the medical examiner’s office, Jenkins said.”

“Because of my very serious concerns for the messages posted by the public on Facebook and other social media sites, I feel it is only appropriate as the head of this agency to respond as much and as respectfully as possible to your concerns,”

“I’m always worried when deputy sheriffs are out working secondary employment because it has the potential to put them in these types of situations,” he said.

The sheriff’s office, as well as Hill Management and even the state of Maryland, could be liable in the event of a lawsuit filed by Saylor’s family, Jenkins said.

“It becomes very complicated when it comes to liability,” he said.

These quotes make it clear that Jenkins reacted to public outcry and potential liability rather than the possible misconduct of his officers.  (Is that “professional excellence” in action?)

His comments regarding secondary employment also apply to the accreditation standards.  Section 22- Compensation, Benefits, and Conditions of Work, and specifically, 22.3.5 Extra-Duty Employment.  Perhaps, if the officers involved were offered extra-duty employment, they would not need to take positions as mall security.  They are obviously over-qualified for such positions and the conflict of interest that arises with this type of double – role for the officers involved presents serious problems.

Section 25 addresses grievance procedures.   Does this section require that the public has appropriate avenues to report and get a response from the department?  Or does that apply only to internal grievances within the department?  The public has certainly responded on social media and with phone calls and letters.  The department was so overwhelmed with comments that they had to create a special call center (as reported in the Frederick News Post on February 19th.)  However, the department has not responded to the outcry in a way that makes any sense.

Take for example the fact that officers were returned to duty in April, “An internal affairs investigation ended April 4, and the officers were returned to full duty, Jenkins said.”  Yet no official report has been released.   When questioned about the report on May 30th, “Attorney Daniel Karp says while the criminal investigation is complete an internal investigation is still underway…The sheriff’s attorney tells WHAG details of the incident will not be made public until all investigations are closed.”  Double talk no matter how you look at it.

Section 52 of the CALEA standards addresses internal affairs.  It requires “complaint investigation” procedures and “investigation time limits.”   Did the April 4th announcement comply with this timely investigation rule?  Certainly two months to write and release a report on a “completed” investigation is excessive.

Finally, sections 16 and 32 address training.  While this is a source of conflict among disability advocates, one thing we can all agree on is that training should have been required regarding the use of face-down restraint.  Positional asphyxia has been well documented.  The excessive force combined with the inappropriate restraint resulted in a homicide.  In March, Jenkins agreed that training is an issue, (but not the only one)

“It’s not only training.  Just look at how we live our lives, you know, we’re all human beings.  We all deal with people every day so it goes beyond just training.  I mean, there are human issues.  We all understand that.”

Is this an admission of prejudice or a way to deflect the fact that he has consistently cut the department training budget?

*Special thanks to Little Bird’s Dad for doing the initial research into just how lacking the FSPO is.

*In January, 2010, Jenkins opted NOT to seek accreditation from the American Correctional Association because it would cost too much.  Let’s make him wish he hadn’t sought this one.

As recently as May 29th, comments on the FCSO Facebook page accused us of being conspiracy theorists.  Scott McGregor posted: “Cover up? lol get out your tin foil hats!!!” Let’s use the specific facts and the CALEA standards to show that we are anything but cop haters and crackpots.   The truth is on our side, let’s use it to get #JusticeForEthan !

I don’t claim to be an expert on law enforcement or letter writing, but if you want to use the information I’ve gathered here, I’ll supply you with a beginning to a letter/phone call to the committee.

Remember: “Telephone comments as well as appearances at the public information session are generally limited to 10 minutes and must address the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards.”


I request the CALEA committee to look into failures of the FCSO in regards to the Robert Ethan Saylor case.  I specifically challenge violations of the following sections:

1.3 Use of Force
1.3.1 Use of Reasonable Force
1.3.6 Reporting Uses of Force
1.3.7 Reviewing Reports of 1.3.6
1.3.8 Removal from Line of Duty Assignment, Use of Force
1.3.11 Annual/Biennial Proficiency Training
1.3.12 Issuing Written Directives
1.3.13 Analyze Reports from 1.3.6

16 Allocation and Distribution of Personnel and Personnel Alternatives
16.3.3 Entry Level Training
16.3.5 In-Service Training
16.3.6 Use of Force Training & Firearms Proficiency
16.4.2 Training

22.0 Compensation, Benefits, and Conditions of Work
22.3.5 Extra-Duty Employment

25 Grievance Procedures
25.1.1 Grievance Procedures

33 Training and Career Development

52 Internal Affairs
52.1.1 Complaint Investigation
52.1.2 Records, Maintenance and Security
52.2.3 Investigation Time Limits


Showing Our Continued Support for #JusticeForEthan

 

I’m THRILLED that the “Nationals” have recently gotten on board with our efforts.  While this may seem like the time to sit back and let them do some of the work, we can’t expect them to do it all.  We have to continue to show our support in any way that we can.  Of course we need to answer any and all “Calls to Action.”  Let’s also remember that we are a community who has lost one of our own.  A family still grieves.  We still need answers.  Together we have gotten this far and Together we will get #JusticeForEthan !

Thanks to anyone who has followed 8 MORE Days for Ethan.

There is still a great deal of work to be done –

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