Have you ever watched some crazy show where they do dangerous things and preface them with, "Don’t try this at home"? Well, this time I invite you to try this experiment yourself (but don’t blame me, sue me, or recommend training to me if you get hurt, ok?)
If you knew and loved Ethan Saylor, please don’t read this post. I hope to stir the human imagination, and you don’t need to go there.
If you already signed a petition asking the Maryland Attorney General for an independent investigation in the Ethan Saylor case and if you are pretty well convinced that specialized Down syndrome police training is not the answer to the problem here, then you, too, can skip the experiment.
Now for those who are left and feeling brave...
Step 1: Find three guys who weigh about 150 to 200 pounds each and ask them to join you on a trip to your local Regal theater.
Step 2: Once inside the theater ask your companions to tie your hands behind your back.
Step 3: Walk up onto one of the stair risers and ask your companions to get behind you.
Step 4: Tell your companions to push you over face first and fall on top of you on the stairs.
Imagine that. You are falling face first and you can’t put your arms out in front of you to brace yourself. You land hard (that is a LOT of weight on you) with your face, neck, chest smashing down into those stairs. How far apart are the edges of each step...? Not far enough that your whole face and throat miss the 90 degree angle of stair edge I’ll bet.
So counting your free-falling weight and that of your three companions you will have roughly about 500 pounds of pressure slamming your... you pick.... your eyes and nasal bridge? your nose and upper lip? your mouth and chin? your unprotected throat? into a stair edge.
Ahh, how do you feel? Be honest, this is important. What? I can’t hear you? Oh, gosh that’s right... I forgot to mention that when you hit that hard, the air in your lungs is forcefully expelled and in that position with your hands behind your back, you can’t breath any air back in. That is probably why you are having a hard time telling me how freaking bad you are hurt.
Here, let’s flip you over. Better? Huh, I still can’t hear you. Perhaps your larynx got crushed in the fall and no amount of CPR will fix that. I'll hurry up and call 911 and we can hope they get a breathing tube in past that mess you have there because I really really do want to hear how you think the experiment is going.
I don’t have Down syndrome but I also don’t have the guts to try the Ethan Experiment. It killed him, and it quite possibly would kill me too.
Stop trying to convince yourself that special training for mall cops and police officers changes the results of excessive force. No one should have to endure the Ethan Experiment over a stinking $12 movie ticket.
Don’t start telling me how it was his fault because he would not leave the theater. It was his fault for not complying, and that if the officers had actually de-escalated the situation that would have been special treatment. Because seriously, I have a drunk and disorderly post for you all about what special treatment looks like.
Don’t start telling me about the risks of being fat or having heart trouble... Even the healthiest among us risks death during the Ethan Experiment.
The only thing Down syndrome has to do with what happened that day in the theater is that is it now being used as a scapegoat. Oh yeah, and a springboard for the national Ds organizations to get money for things they have been wanting to fund for a while now.
Please sign the petition asking for an independent investigation in the Ethan Saylor case. And if you do try the experiment, well good luck to you and let me know how it goes, ok?
Alt Summit NYC 2013 - Tomorrow I head to ALT Summit NYC. For those of you not familiar with ALT, it is a highly acclaimed (and super fabulous) blogging conference that is held in ...