Family of Anton Black reach $5M settlement four years after teen’s death during police encounter

Deborah Dzifa Makafui August 10, 2022
Anton Black. Photo: WBAL TV

On Monday, the family of Anton Black said that it had achieved a partial settlement in the Eastern Shore police in-custody death that occurred in 2018. The federal court lawsuit contends that the 19-year-death old’s while in police custody was unlawful and motivated by discrimination.

Additionally, it alleges a plot between the police and the state medical examiner to conceal the “wrongful activities by policemen.” For Black’s family members, it is a “bittersweet partial success”, but they insist that their work is not done, WBAL TV reported. Three police agencies will have to change their use-of-force procedures, and the family will receive $5 million in damages.

According to Black’s father, Antone Black, “They had to know that he was dying.”

“They murdered my son without cause.” The family’s claims against three Maryland towns—Greensboro, Ridgely, and Centreville—as well as a number of people—former Greensboro police officer Thomas Webster IV, former Greensboro police chief Michael Petyo, former Ridgely police chief Gary Manos, former Centreville police officer Dennis Lannon, and former Greensboro town manager Jeannette Cleveland—have been resolved through the settlement of the lawsuit.

According to family members, Black begged “Mommy, help” for six minutes as officers pressed his face, chest, and stomach to the ground.

“Anton was a wonderful, wonderful little brother. Even now, knowing that my little brother is no longer with us aches,” stated Black’s brother Aron Lloyd.

However, the initial responding officer, Webster, had previously been physically hostile to an African American detainee in his custody and had been discharged from a Delaware police station. Among those defending Black’s family are attorneys from the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). On Monday, the group referred to the agreement as a “milestone.”

In December 2020, the Coalition for Justice for Anton Black and the family filed their complaint. According to the lawsuit, Black’s death was “very similar” to that of George Floyd, a Black American whose shooting death by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, 2020, sparked widespread protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

According to a University of Washington study that was published in The Lancet in 2021, police deaths in the U.S. are significantly underreported and Black Americans are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than White Americans.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 10, 2022


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