The family of Anton Black, a 19-year-old Black man who died during a struggle with police officers in Maryland, have reached a $5 million partial settlement of their wrongful death lawsuit.
According to the Associated Press, the agreement, announced on Monday (August 8), also requires improvements in police training and policies. The family’s federal lawsuit accused law enforcement of using excessive force on Black after they chased him and tried to restrain him outside his family’s home in Greensboro, Maryland in 2018. Officers restrained Black with handcuffs and shackled his legs before he stopped breathing.
The suit also accuses police of trying to cover up the unjustified killing by claiming Black was high on drugs, and somehow exhibiting “superhuman” strength.
Last September, a state law was named after Black with the goal of expanding public access to records about police disciplinary cases. Originally, the 19-year-old’s death inspired calls for an independent investigation and legislative reforms.
Former Greensboro Police Officer Thomas Webster IV, former Greensboro Police Chief Michael Petyo, former Ridgley Police Chief Gary Manos, Centreville Police Officer Dennis Lannon and former Greensboro Town Manage Jeannette Cleveland were all named in the lawsuit’s settlement. Three Maryland towns – Greensboro, Ridgely and Centreville – were also named in the suit.
Black had been diagnosed with a severe form of bipolar disorder and was hospitalized less than two weeks before his death. His father called police, concerned that his son had been acting strangely at home.