Anton Black’s law would create transparency for families involved in police-involved deaths
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The apprehension and subsequent death of a local teenager is the driving force behind a newly proposed bill.
Caroline County’s Anton Black died after a lengthy struggle with police last year and while officers weren’t charged in connection to his death, government leaders believe that a lack of information contributed to the overwhelming amount of frustration with the case. That’s why some have created House Bill 1011, legislation that would change how information is released to the families and loved ones of individuals involved in police-related incidents.
Anton Black Sr. along with the rest of his family showed support Tuesday afternoon for Anton’s Law. Anton Black Sr. says, “I am here to support Anton and hope this bill they are putting out will pass.”
Last September, 19-year-old Anton Black died as a result of a sudden cardiac death. According to officials, more than likely, the stress of the struggle with police, contributed to the death. But it took months for the family to get these answers on how their son even died.
Anton’s sister, Latoya Holley tells 47 ABC, “I don’t think it’s asking for much to request information especially if you have an officer involved investigation especially when a life is lost and you’re dealing with an officer who’s had previous criminal complaints.”
This bill brought to the House Judiciary Committee will provide families with clarity. It will require the Police Training and Standards Commission to implement a new process. Bill sponsor Delegate Gabriel Acevero says, “That information be released upon the conclusion of the investigation as well as a copy of that officers record related to that incident.”
We’re told it will give family members or loved ones a better understanding of the investigation. “Not just the situation that took place, what actions were taken by the department but also what kind of an officer that they are dealing with in terms of police involved death,” Del. Acevero claims.
47 ABC also caught up with local delegate, Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes, who happens to be a co-sponsor. “Too often, in a minority community we’re not getting the information that is necessary to bring some level of closure. People deserve to have that information deserve that level of clarity and how to positively move forward,” Del. Sample-Hughes says.
We’re told the sponsor worked with the family, ACLU, and NAACP to push this bill forward.
Moving forward if everything runs smoothly, the Judiciary Committee will take this as a whole or bring it to their sub-committee and vote on it. From there, it will head to the senate for a hearing and then eventually to the house floor.