“It’s a big step forward:” Family of Anton Black, coalition reach $5M settlement

DENTON, Md. – “It’s not the end of the road, but its a big step forward,” Jeon said.

Those were the words following Monday’s press conference on the grounds of the Caroline County Circuit Court, where the family provided an update to their federal civil rights lawsuit over the 2018 killing of Anton Black.

Back in December 2020, family and the Coalition for Justice for Anton Black filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Baltimore. Now, a partial settlement has been reached that addresses the lawsuit for the multiple municipalities and officers involved.

ACLU Maryland Legal Director Debbie Jeon says Monday marked a step forward toward police accountability. “Particularly focuses on the kinds of problems that arose in this case with respect to mental health emergencies and criminal activity,” Jeon said.

“Anton was an amazing, grateful, wonderful teenager that life go taken way too early,” Black’s Brother Aaron Lloyd said.

Those involved in the 2018 incident include two eastern shore of Maryland police chiefs, three towns (Ridgley, Centreville, and Greensboro,), and a officer with who had a history of misconduct and abuse.

The September 2018 incident was the result of police in Greensboro who tried to arrest Black. After a lengthy struggle with police, Black died. That’s why Jeon, who is representing the Coalition for Justice for Anton Black, says reforms are geared towards preventing that type of police violence in the future.

“There’s a particular element of the use of force policy here that’s being adopted that address use of prone restraint which was the type of restraint that was used in this case that resulted in the killing of Anton Black,” Jenon said.

A separate part of the case that remains open involves claims of conspiracy and cover up by the Office of the Maryland Medical Examiner. “They had a very long period of time where they failed to report the results of their investigation. Their autopsy was held for months,” Jenon said.  “The results of the autopsy we think were frankly wrong. ”

The recent resolution also includes $5 million in monetary damages that will be paid out to the family.

Black’s brother, Aaron Lloyd, tells us no amount of money will bring their beloved Anton back. “My oldest son is from Delaware and every time I would bring him down to Greensboro to my moms house the first thing he would say was is Anton there,” Lloyd said. “Till this day, I fully never watched the full body cam because I just can’t.”

Beyond the work on the case,  the family and coalition’s efforts to seek justice and change led to the Maryland General Assembly’s passage of Anton’s Law last year.

It’s worth noting, that we reached out to the Greensboro Town Attorney who has not responded to a request for comment at this time.

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