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Panel begins work after Md. disabled man's death

Tuesday - 10/29/2013, 11:39am  ET

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - The death of a man with Down syndrome in the custody of sheriff's deputies has led to a new Maryland commission to improve interactions with people with developmental disabilities.

Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver says that Robert Ethan Saylor's legacy will live on through the commission's work.

Gov. Martin O'Malley created the new Maryland Commission for Effective Community Inclusion of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities after Saylor's death. It includes state public safety officials, prosecutors, police agencies and advocates for people with disabilities. The first meeting was Monday.

Shriver says people with intellectual and developmental differences are often misunderstood.

Col. Marcus Brown, the superintendent of state police, says a broader focus on understanding behavioral cues could help police officers respond to different situations.

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