NEARLY TWO YEARS before George Floyd was pinned under the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, Anton Black was pinned to the ground by police outside his home in Greensboro, Maryland.
On September 15, 2018, body camera footage captured the 19-year-old struggling under the weight of multiple officers, laboring to breathe and crying out for his mother.
Dr. David Fowler, who was the chief medical examiner of Maryland for neBlack’s mother watched her son die in front of her. He used his last breaths to shout “I love you.”arly two decades, classified Black’s death as an accident. Now, he is an expert witness for Chauvin’s defense and is expected to offer testimony as to how Floyd died last year.
The forensic pathologist, who resigned from Maryland’s medical examiner office in 2019, is one of several parties being sued by the Black family for wrongful death and civil rights violations. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in December, alleges that Fowler “covered up and obscured police responsibility for Anton Black’s death.”
The determination in Black’s case was part of a broader pattern of the medical examiner’s office relying on police narratives in cases involving deaths in custody, the complaint on behalf of the Black family argues.
Between 2013 and 2019, 30 percent of deaths involving a law enforcement officer reviewed by Maryland’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner were classified as “accidents,” “undetermined,” or due to “natural causes,” according to data released by the state. read more…
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