Times-Record - - NEWS -

here for an­swers,” said Monique Sor­rell, Black’s sis­ter. “We want jus­tice served. We’re not just here for An­ton. We’re here for other young kids, too.”

The pre­lim­i­nary re­port from Mary­land State Po­lice said Black was ac­cused of try­ing to abduct a 12-year-old boy shortly af­ter 7 p.m. Sept. 15. Po­lice said an of­fi­cer from the Greens­boro Po­lice Depart­ment was dis­patched to Sun­set Av­enue in the area of the Chop­tank River bridge and al­legedly saw Black forcibly re­strain­ing a boy.

An­dre Sor­rell, Monique Sor­rell’s hus­band, said be­sides be­ing Black’s brother-in-law, he also is re­lated to the 12-year-old boy.

Sor­rell said Black and the boy knew each other very well, and he does not un­der­stand why po­lice thought Black was try­ing to abduct him.

“I feel of­fi­cers over­re­acted to a sit­u­a­tion that shouldn’t have es­ca­lated to that level,” Sor­rell said. “I’m not go­ing to as­sume any­thing, but it’s a dicey sit­u­a­tion, and we’re not sure it should’ve been han­dled the way it was.”

The pre­lim­i­nary re­port said Black tried to flee, and the foot pur­suit ended at Black’s home in a mo­bile home park in the 13000 block of Greens­boro Drive. Black jumped into the driver’s seat of his ve­hi­cle, parked next to the fam­ily’s home, po­lice said.

LaToya Hol­ley, Black’s sis­ter, said her brother ran be­cause he was afraid.

“What­ever that cop said to him in­stilled fear in him,” Hol­ley said. “He re­spected au­thor­ity. He would not have just ran for no rea­son. He feared for his life so he chose flight.”

The pre­lim­i­nary re­port said Black then tried to exit the pas­sen­ger side of his ve­hi­cle, and the of­fi­cer de­ployed his depart­ment is­sued taser, strik­ing Black, who con­tin­ued to flee. Black al­legedly bit two po­lice of­fi­cers and a civil­ian who was try­ing to as­sist po­lice.

“I’m sure that did not make (po­lice) happy they had to go af­ter him, and things got out of hand re­ally quick,” Hol­ley said.

Po­lice said Black even­tu­ally was placed in hand­cuffs and an­kle re­straints. Mo­ments later, of­fi­cers rec­og­nized Black was show­ing signs of med­i­cal dis­tress, po­lice said. They called for an am­bu­lance and gave med­i­cal as­sis­tance on scene by ad­min­is­ter­ing Nar­can and per­form­ing CPR.

Black was taken by am­bu­lance to Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Eas­ton, where he later was pro­nounced dead.

Black’s body was taken to the Of­fice of the Chief Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner in Bal­ti­more for an au­topsy. The au­topsy did not re­veal a cause of death, and no sig­nif­i­cant in­juries were noted by the pathol­o­gist, the MSP said. Tox­i­col­ogy re­sults are pend­ing, along with the re­sults of ad­di­tional test­ing of vi­tal or­gans.

An MSP spokesman said Sept. 17 the tox­i­col­ogy re­port could take four to six weeks to com­plete.

Black’s fam­ily has re­tained Rene Swaf­ford, lawyer.

Upon com­ple­tion of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the MSP, the case will be for­warded to the Caro­line County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice for re­view.

While the town coun­cil could not legally con­firm which Greens­boro po­lice of­fi­cer was in­volved in the in­ci­dent, it did not re­fute it when Black’s fam­ily and friends said they knew it was Thomas Web­ster IV.

Web­ster is a for­mer Dover, Del., of­fi­cer, re­leased by that city’s depart­ment in 2016, three years af­ter a dash cam cap­tured footage of Web­ster, who is white, kick­ing La­teef Dick­er­son, an un­armed black man, in the face and break­ing his jaw, and two months af­ter a jury ac­quit­ted Web­ster of a re­sult­ing as­sault charge.

The City of Dover agreed to pay Web­ster $230,000 over six years af­ter his re­lease from the po­lice depart­ment, on the con­di­tion he never again would seek em­ploy­ment there, and paid Dick­er­son $300,000 to drop a fed­eral civil rights law­suit against the city.

Web­ster was hired by Greens­boro’s depart­ment early this year and be­gan pa­trolling in April.

Berl Lovelace, pres­i­dent of the Caro­line County chap­ter of the NAACP, re­minded the coun­cil he questioned Web­ster’s hir­ing back in March and wrote each of them a let­ter urg­ing them to re­con­sider it.

“What­ever the out­come of this in­ves­ti­ga­tion is, you could have avoided it,” Lovelace said. “A small po­lice force like this, you don’t need some­one with a past his­tory a Greens­boro-based that he had.

“My par­ents and my grand­mother told me a long time ago, never say I told you so. This is one time I dis­re­gard what they said. Be­cause I told you so.”

Mary Boyce of Greens­boro, who said her grand­daugh­ter is preg­nant by Black, asked why Web­ster was hired.

“... (W)e said let’s give him an­other chance,” Boyce said. “Well guess what. You gave him a chance. And this young man, my grand­daugh­ter’s baby’s fa­ther, will never hold his baby.”

When questioned why Web­ster was still on duty dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Town Man­ager Jean­nette DeLude said the town at­tor­ney ad­vised them not to put him on leave.

Doretha Den­nis of Greens­boro said the town had failed its cit­i­zens.

“As mayor, you failed us,” Den­nis said. “Be­cause my chil­dren are afraid. You al­lowed this man to come in, know­ing his back­ground, but you did not care. I’m dis­ap­pointed.”

Black’s fam­ily said hurt­ful com­ments, over­heard in real life and read on so­cial me­dia, about Black have added to the pain of los­ing him.

Be­fore he grad­u­ated from North Caro­line High School in 2016, Black was a star foot­ball player and track ath­lete.

His brother, Bran­don Jack­son, came to the meet­ing wear­ing all the medals Black won at track meets.

“When my brother played foot­ball, I saw the Greens­boro po­lice car right there. I’m sure they were cheer­ing him on like you all cheered him on,” Hol­ley said. “For peo­ple in this town to sit here and pre­tend like my brother was a mon­ster, I can’t ac­cept that.

“I feel as though ev­ery­one wants to de­mo­nize him, make him out to be this big, bad man that was try­ing to drag a lit­tle kid and do who knows what. That was not An­ton. He was such a lov­ing spirit.

“I don’t un­der­stand why I’m look­ing at Face­book and see­ing the nas­ti­est com­ments be­ing posted by this com­mu­nity, talk­ing about how he de­served to die.”

Noon said he knew Black per­son­ally, as he was a mem­ber of a teen group Noon or­ga­nized.

He apol­o­gized for not reach­ing out to the fam­ily im­me­di­ately af­ter Black’s death, but he said the town at­tor­ney told him not to do so while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ued.

“I don’t want you to think that we’re not feel­ing this up here (on the town coun­cil), be­cause we are. But we have rules we have to go by,” Noon said. “We couldn’t even go to his fu­neral to show our sup­port be­cause of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“I’m sorry, fam­ily, that I haven’t came and knocked on your door, but we were ad­vised we can’t. I just want to say I feel your pain. I re­ally do.”

Monique Sor­rell said she felt a lit­tle bet­ter know­ing the town coun­cil had not reached out be­cause they were not al­lowed.

“It feels bet­ter to know you cared,” Sor­rell said.

“We have to live with this the rest of our lives,” Sor­rell said. “We have to re­mem­ber his face, re­mem­ber him in a cof­fin, and I don’t wish that on any­body.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.