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Dateline NBC: What Happened to Anton Black? (NBC Friday August 5, 2022)



On Friday’s all-new Dateline NBC at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT, anchor Lester Holt will report on Anton Black, a 19-year-old Black man who died in 2018 while being taken into police custody in Maryland.

The one-hour special, entitled What Happened to Anton Black?, investigates the warning signs the town of Greensboro, Maryland received about Thomas Webster, the officer who initially chased Black after receiving a 911 call that Black had been dragging another boy down the street, unaware that the two boys had known each other for years.

During the broadcast, Anton’s parents and sister open up about his death, which occurred after Webster, two additional police officers and a bystander restrained him on his front porch. Anton’s father tells Holt that Anton didn’t “attack” anyone or “rob a bank,” explaining, “He’s at his mother’s doorstep. All he wanted to do was go home. He’s home and you don’t get off of him? That’s not right.” Click here to watch the exchange.

Holt also interviews Jason Johnson, the president of The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. Johnson tells Holt that Black’s death was a tragedy, but he didn’t “see any indication of malice” after watching the bodycam footage, adding that he thought it met “the professional standard.” When pressed, Johnson also told Holt, “I could tell you with some degree of certainty that Thomas Webster should not have been a Greensboro police officer at all.”

Click here to watch the exchange. No charges were filed against Webster, and Black’s death was ruled accidental.

Additionally, What Happened to Anton Black? spotlights the parallels between the death of Black and the death of George Floyd, including that the same chief medical examiner reviewed both cases. Like Floyd, Black’s case galvanized a community seeking justice and touched many of the fault lines in the heated debate about policing in America.

What Happened to Anton Black? is produced by Dateline producers Chetna Joshi and Lynn Keller, supervising producer Dan Slepian and senior producers Joe Delmonico and Paul Ryan. David Corvo is the senior executive producer and Liz Cole is the executive producer.

Airdate: Friday August 5, 2022 at 10.00pm on NBC.