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Questions Remain In Case of 19-Year-Old Maryland Man Who Died After Being Stopped by Police

It’s been four months since Anton Black, 19, died following an encounter with police, and his family members say they still don’t know why.

“His life was taken short by a corrupted cop here on the Eastern Shore,” Black’s brother, Brandon Jackson, told the crowd gathered inside the Greeensboro Town Hall in Maryland last year. “They are taking us young black males and they’re taking our lives from us. My brother wasn’t a criminal. He wasn’t a drug dealer. He was just trying to make it in life.”

Anton Black

Relatives said Anton Black was a former high school football star and budding fashion model. (Image courtesy of Facebook)

The tiny town of Greensboro, located in Caroline County, is still shaken by the incident and the community still in the dark regarding the details of the Sept. 16 incident. This week, a crowd of concerned citizens gathered inside the Town Hall yet again, The Washington Post reported, to demand answers in a case that’s been kept under wraps.

As reported by Delmarva station WBOC, police said the incident began when an off-duty officer responded to a call of someone “dragging an unidentified 12–year–old” down the road. That’s where officers said they confronted Black and demanded he let the child go. Police said Black insisted the two were brothers, but authorities later confirmed that was not the case.

“Black then said he loved the boy and then took off running, leading officers inside Black’s car,” according to the station. “Police say Black then hit one officer in the face, and bit two others. Police say Black got out of the car and was stunned by a Taser.”

It wasn’t long before officers said Black started “showing signs of medical distress.” They administered Narcan and attempted CPR on the young man, but it was too late. Black, a former high school football star and aspiring fashion model, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital later that day.

According to the Washington Post, the deadly encounter came just months after the city’s Black residents protested the hiring of a Delaware officer caught on video kicking a Black, handcuffed suspect in the jaw in 2013. Despite vocal opposition, the city council agreed to hire Tom Webster IV. No one knew Webster would later be among the three white officers connected to Black’s mysterious death.

Since the incident, none of the officers have been charged and no official cause of death has been determined. Additionally, there’s been no medical examiner’s report, nor have there been any public updates or briefings on the investigation by Maryland State Police.

“We have no answers,” Greensboro Mayor Joe Noon told those gathered at last week’s meeting. “We know as much as you do.”

The Washington Post reports there hasn’t been “any new information provided to family members by the Caroline County state’s attorney. There has been no explanation by the Greensboro police why officers used Tasers and a choke hold … No explanation why the officers involved in Anton’s death are still on duty and not on administrative leave, as stipulated in the Greensboro police manual.”

Black’s family has said they blame police for the young man’s death — specifically Webster. Trevor Hewick, an investigator and former D.C. officer hired by the family, said the incident was sparked after a white woman spotted Black and the youth tussling in the street, then called police to report a “kidnapping.” Hewick insists it was just horseplay.

The investigator said body cam footage, which hasn’t been released to the public, showed Webster breaking a car window with his baton after chasing Black into the vehicle parked outside his parent’s home. As the young man scrambles to escape, one of the off-duty officers grabs him around the neck and forces him to the ground.

Webster, who was joined by two other officers from nearby jurisdictions, helped pin Black to the ground. His mother, Jennell Black, recalled the moment she saw her son’s face turn purple as he lost consciousness.

He died at a hospital a short time later.

At the Town Hall meeting, a justice advocate read aloud the Greensboro police policy stating that officers involved in shootings or deaths “shall be given reasonable paid administrative leave,” and urged the department to practice what it preaches.

After closed deliberations, the meeting adjourned with the announcement that Webster would remain on the force.

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