In January 2022, US District Judge Catherine Blake refused to dismiss the family’s claims that Black was subjected to the excessive police force. According to Blake’s 27-page finding, the body camera footage of the fatal incident did not definitively reject the family’s assertions that officers used excessive force against Black.
Dateline spent a whole year examining the ties between Black’s death and Floyd’s murder. What had Anton Black gone through? Every Friday at 10 p.m. EST, NBC airs an hour-long special report.
Anton Black died after being pursued by white police officers and detained for six minutes outside his rural Greensboro family home. The parents of Black are now speaking out eight months after a court declined to dismiss their complaint alleging excessive force by police.
In 2019, an autopsy report on Black’s death was revealed two days after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan voiced discontent with the investigation’s progress. The state medical examiner’s autopsy indicated that Black’s congenital heart disease, mental instability, and combat stress were likely to blame for his accidental death.
According to a cardiologist from Johns Hopkins University who watched the family’s case, Black’s actual cause of death was asphyxiation. Dr. David Fowler, who served as Maryland’s chief medical examiner until his retirement in 2019, certified the authenticity and accuracy of Black’s autopsy.
Christina Robinson, a family friend, blames the police for Black’s death, although knowing that many white neighborhood residents supported the police.
What Had Happened to Anton Black?
Anton Black died after being pursued by white police officers and detained for six minutes outside the rural Greensboro house he shared with his family. Black’s parents decided to take action in reaction to the circumstance eight months after the court chose not to dismiss the family’s complaints that the police had used excessive force.
The autopsy report on the death of Black was released in 2019, two days after Maryland Governor Larry Hogan expressed discontent with the investigation’s progress.
According to the results of an autopsy done by the state coroner, Black’s death was accidental, and it was likely that his congenital cardiac defects, mental instability, and war-related stress contributed to his passing.
However, a cardiologist from Johns Hopkins University who was there during the investigation and observed Black’s family indicated that asphyxiation was the true cause of his death.
Dr. David Fowler, who served as Maryland’s chief medical examiner until his retirement in 2019, was responsible for ensuring that the autopsy done on Black was conducted correctly. Christina Robinson, a family friend, feels the police guilty for Black’s murder, despite the fact that many whites in the city support the police.
The Deal Between Black’s Family and the Police
Anton Black, an African American man who was 19, died in police custody in Caroline County, Maryland, in 2018. His family has settled part of their federal lawsuit against several Eastern Shore cities.
As part of the settlement, Black’s family will get $5 million, and three towns will have to make changes to their police departments so that another death like Black’s doesn’t happen again, the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland said in a news release.
Lawyers for the family and the Coalition for Justice for Anton Black will continue to fight a part of the lawsuit that says the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and its controversial former chief medical examiner, Dr. David Fowler, worked together to hide the truth about how Anton Black died.
In a statement given to the ACLU, Black’s mother said she was saddened by the fact that police killed her son and that she hoped the changes outlined in the settlement would stop more tragedies. Jennell Black said, “I had to watch those police officers kill my son as he begged for his life and called out to me.”
“There are no words to describe the terrible pain I will always feel when I think about my son and that terrible day… I hope that the changes in police departments will save lives and keep other families from going through the pain we do every day.”
Who Assassinated Anton Black?
While no one has ever been prosecuted or charged in connection with Anton’s death, which was considered an accident, the three cops who restrained him on that tragic evening have been publicly identified.
They are Thomas Webster, a former Greensboro police, Gary Manos, a former Ridgley Police Chief, and Dennis Lannon, a Centreville officer who was off-duty when he went to assist Thomas.
The most perplexing part, though, was that Webster had roughly 30 use of excessive force reports against him from his previous police employment in the city of Dover, Delaware.
In fact, during an arrest in 2013, Thomas allegedly broke a Black man’s jaw after kicking him in the face, for which he was found not guilty despite dashcam footage.
After facing the serious second-degree assault allegation leveled against him, he resigned from his Dover post with seemingly no big complications and a hefty $230,000 severance package.
We should emphasize that Anton’s family has subsequently filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit alleging the four white men and the medical examiner of involvement in the teen’s death and cover-up. According to a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins University, Anton died of asphyxia after being brutally pushed down by the cops.
They debated the claims, prompting US District Judge Catherine Blake to admit, “It is impossible to tell how much weight and what body parts, if any, Webster placed on Black during the roughly six minutes of [bodycam] footage.”
A viewer cannot tell if or how long Webster rested his knees on Black’s neck, shoulders, or upper torso.” However, in her early 2022 judgement, Catherine Blake declined to dismiss any of the lawsuit’s claims because she found a “real question of material fact” regarding the motivations for the cops’ actions.
In other words, it appears that the judicial actions seeking accountability for Anton’s death are still ongoing.
Officer Thomas Webster, Where is He Now, Anton Black Killer?
Thomas Webster, a former Greensboro police officer accused of major crimes and the subject of a civil action, is unlikely to be in detention right now. Because Anton’s death was ruled an accident, no one was arrested or charged in connection with it.
When Webster smashed a car window and assaulted Black, the judge concluded that he took no attempt to diffuse the situation or avoid responding to someone who was in a mental health crisis. This conforms to Greensboro Police Department policy.
In one such incident, Thomas cracked a black man’s jaw by kicking him in the face when he was arrested in 2013. Despite the fact that the dashboard camera video showed this, he was found not guilty.
After being charged with aggravated second-degree assault, he resigned from Dover with no serious difficulties and a $230,000 severance payout. His resignation was without incident.