GREENSBORO, MD. (WJZ) — The family of a 19-year-old Maryland man who died after an encounter with police is demanding a grand jury investigation.
An autopsy report determined a heart condition and mental illness were contributing factors in his death.
His family says that is not true.
Examiners found 43 blunt force trauma wounds and that Black had no drugs in his system. It also characterized his death as an accident.
Despite the family’s request, the Caroline County State’s Attorney issued a statement saying he has an ethical obligation to only put cases in front of the grand jury, that he believes are supported by probable cause.
“It would be unethical of me to put a case in front of the grand jury without probable cause believing that they would not return a true bill/indictment simply to remove pressure on myself or this office,” the State’s Attorney said in a statement.
For months, the family of 19-year-old Anton Black have been pushing for answers after the death of their loved one.
“We don’t have a cause of death, we haven’t been given one,” said Black’s sister, Monique Sorrell.
They now have one after pressure from the media and the governor.
“I pushed very hard to make sure that we wrapped up this case,” Gov. Hogan said.
But the family is rejecting the findings. They are also demanding a grand jury investigation.
“They killed my son. They murdered him,” said his mother, Jennell BLack
Wednesday, more than 100 days after his death following the encounter with police outside his Greensboro home on the Eastern Shore.
The family was given a copy of the autopsy report where the Chief Medical Examiner determined Black died of “sudden cardiac death”, stemming a preexisting heart condition.
It added the information that a mental illness was also a contributing condition.
The report goes on to say that it was likely that “the stress of his struggle contributed to his death,”
Police body camera footage of the September encounter and struggle was also given to the media Wednesday.
Greensboro Police asked it not be made public while the case is still being investigated.
The video reportedly shows Black being chased and detained by officers following an investigation into a kidnapping.
Black was tased.
The video shows him being handcuffed and put in leg shackles, as well as an officer partially laying on him.
The medical examiner found no evidence that caused or contributed to Black’s death, concluding Black’s death is “best certified as an accident”.
Black’s family said they are conducting their own investigation into the findings.
Their main argument is centered on his arrest saying, “There was no reason to tase him, no reason for the officer to tackle him, restrain and shackle him, no reason for the trauma, no reason for him to die,”
“There was nothing wrong with Anton,” said his other sister, La Toya Holley.
Read the full autopsy report below: