Police officers on Maryland's Eastern Shore killed Anton Black, a 19-year-old, on the afternoon of September 15, 2018. After being chased, tased, and pinned facedown by four white men, including a civilian wearing a Confederate motorcycle helmet, Anton pleaded, “Mommy, help” and told his mother he loved her as the officers forced his slight frame down and pressed his face, chest, and stomach to the ground for six minutes, causing him to die by positional asphyxiation.

On December 17, 2020, Anton Black’s family and the Coalition for Justice for Anton Black filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Baltimore, charging an unconstitutional police killing and a cover-up involving a decertified officer with a long record of abuse, two Eastern Shore police chiefs – one of whom has since pled guilty to criminal misconduct – three small towns, and the State Medical Examiner.

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Anton Black’s family is represented by Kenneth Ravenell, René C. Swafford, Leslie Hershfield, and Tomeka Church. The Coalition for Justice for Anton Black is represented by the ACLU of Maryland: Senior Staff Attorney Sonia Kumar and Legal Director Deborah Jeon, with the support of Intake & Investigations Manager Gina Elleby and Legal Program Associate Jay Jimenez.

Watch, read, and listen to more about this lawsuit:

Accountability for Police Killing Anton Black


Kenneth W. Ravenell, René C. Swafford, Leslie Hershfield, Tomeka Church, Sonia Kumar, Deborah Jeon, Ieshaah Murphy, Tierney Peprah, John A. Freedman, Ryan D. Budhu, Joseph P. Klemme, Jayce Born, John F. Mezzanote, Jr., Florence Bryan of Arnold & Porter

Date filed

December 17, 2020


United States District Court for the District of Maryland



Case number