Who was Anton Black and how did he die?

THE FAMILY of Anton Black is suing the Maryland East Coast Police Department over his death in 2018.

His tragic death has since been compared to the death of George Floyd, who was murdered by police on May 25, 2020.

Anton Black passed away in September 2018


Anton Black passed away in September 2018Photo credit: Facebook/

Who was Anton Black?

Anton Black was a 19-year-old resident of Maryland.

He made headlines after he died in police custody on September 15, 2018.

Little information is available about his personal life outside of his death.

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How did Anton Black die?

Since Black’s death was announced, many have claimed he died as a result of police brutality.

However, the state coroner’s autopsy reported his death as an accident and claimed that his congenital heart defect, mental illness and stress from the fight all contributed to his death, according to CBS News.

At the time, police were responding to an attempted kidnapping call in Black’s neighborhood and approached the teenager for questions after he was spotted dressing a 12-year-old boy on the street, according to Delaware Online.

Body camera footage released in January 2019 later showed Black fleeing officers when asked to put his hands behind his back.

The chase ended when he got into a parked car in front of his mother’s house and police smashed the window to arrest him.

He was then taken out of the car, where he struggled with officers while they handcuffed and shackled him.

Delaware Online notes that officers were aware of his mental health condition and reportedly told his mother that the arrest was being treated as a “mental emergency” and that he was being taken to a hospital.

Shortly after police handcuffed Black, he became unresponsive and they quickly removed the cuffs and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

He was then taken to Easton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Why is Anton’s family suing the police?

In December 2020, Black’s family filed a lawsuit, alleging that he died as a result of officers’ excessive use of force.

Anton's family is suing the Maryland East Coast Police Department over his death


Anton’s family is suing the Maryland East Coast Police Department over his deathPhoto credit: Facebook/

The lawsuit named several defendants, including former Greensboro Police Officer Thomas Webster IV, former Greensboro Police Commissioner Michael Petyo, Ridgely Police Commissioner Gary Manos, and Centerville Police Officer Dennis Lannon.

Defendants have since sought to dismiss the lawsuit, but a US district judge ruled it could proceed in January 2022.

At the time, U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake determined that the body camera footage did not contradict the family’s claims of excessive violence, according to CBS News.

“It’s impossible to tell how much weight and body parts, if any, Webster placed on Black in the nearly six minutes of footage. A viewer also cannot tell if or how long Webster placed his knees on Black’s neck, shoulders or torso,” the judge wrote in her ruling.

She went on to say that a person’s mental health needs to be considered when police use force.

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Blake added that the defendants may renew their motion to dismiss the lawsuit’s excessive use of force claims after sharing the evidence with the plaintiffs.

It is currently unclear whether the defendants have renewed their application. Who was Anton Black and how did he die?


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