Media Contact

Meredith Curtis Goode, media@aclu-md.org, 443-310-9946

April 21, 2021

GREENSBORO, MD – One of the witnesses for Derek Chauvin who defended him in his trial for murdering George Floyd, Dr. David Fowler, is currently being sued by the family of Anton Black, a 19 year old Black teenager killed by p0lice in Maryland. As Maryland medical examiner, Fowler claimed that Anton died of natural causes, saying that his bipolar disorder was a contributing factor, rather than the weight pressed on Anton while he was held facedown by three white officers and a white civilian.

The following quote can be attributed to the family of Anton Black and their legal team:

“The family of Anton Black and their legal team were surprised to see Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh celebrate the Chauvin murder conviction yesterday, given the Maryland AG's robust defense of Dr. Fowler’s track record of covering for police here in Maryland. Just as Dr. Fowler advanced every possible cause but homicide as an expert witness for Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, the Office of Medical Examiner under Dr. Fowler colluded with police to cover up the killing of Anton Black by claiming that Anton Black died as a result of natural causes. Anton Black was pinned down by police for six minutes after being handcuffed. Anton Black died as a direct result of police restraint and use of force, but because Dr. Fowler’s office refused to acknowledge that Anton’s death was a homicide, his family has been forced to fight to even have his death acknowledged. Yet, AG Frosh is fighting against the Black family, not with them, claiming that they don’t even have a case. Reform and accountability start at home. If AG Frosh is sincere, he can prove it by doing the work to secure justice in the lawsuit brought by Anton Black’s family — exactly the type of reform Frosh says is needed. In this moment, AG Frosh must acknowledge the eerie and terrifying similarity between the police murders of George Floyd and of Anton Black and act to ensure accountability is finally served on the the officers who killed Anton and the medical examiners who covered up for them.”

Anton Black’s family is represented by Kenneth W. 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, Legal Director Deborah Jeon, Staff Attorneys Ieshaah Murphy and Tierney Peprah, with the support of Intake & Investigations Manager Gina Elleby and Legal Program Associate Jay Jimenez; John A. Freedman, Ryan D. Budhu, Joseph P. Klemme, Jayce Born, John F. Mezzanote, Jr., and Florence Bryan of Arnold & Porter.

View the legal complaint and learn more, here.

###