Cop Whose Arrest Lead to Black Teen's Death Decertified by State

By Stephen Janis and Taya Graham


The Greensboro, Maryland police officer Daniel Webster, who was involved in the death of an African-American teen, has been decertified by a state agency that sets training standards for law enforcement.

Webster resigned following his decertification.


A spokesman for the Maryland Division of Corrections confirmed the decertification occurred during a meeting of the Police Training and Standards Commission on July 26. However, he could not reveal details about what prompted the board’s decision, citing laws which preclude discussing personnel matters.


Previously it was reported that at least 26 incidents of use of force from Webster’s former job in Delaware were omitted from his application to work in Maryland.


Webster was one of three officers who chased Anton Black, a 19-year-old African-American track and football star, after a white woman called police and alleged Black had kidnapped his twelve-year-old cousin.


Webster was joined by two other officers who chased Black to his mother’s home, where Webster tased him and forced him to the ground. Black died minutes later as one of the arresting officers sat on top of him.


The Maryland State Medical Examiner ruled his death an accident due to an underlying undiagnosed heart defect. But an independent pathologist consulted by The Real News determined Black died from positional asphyxiation, a form of suffocation that occurs when downward pressure is placed on someone lying on the ground.


The arrest occurred in September of 2018, but state police and the Medical Examiner’s Office waited nearly five months to release details of their investigation. Caroline County State’s Attorney Joe Riley declined to press charges.


Webster’s hiring was controversial from the start. Residents who spoke to The Real News said his arrival marked an embrace of more aggressive police tactics for the town of only 2000 residents. City officials denied that Webster’s hiring marked a pivot towards more aggressive tactics when asked by TRNN.


However, in a previous job in Dover, Delaware, Webster was charged after he was caught on dashcam video kicking an African-American suspect in the jaw. The incident lead to charges of assault, but Webster was acquitted.

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Host & Producer
Stephen Janis is an award winning investigative reporter turned documentary filmmaker. His first feature film, The Friendliest Town was distributed by Gravitas Ventures and won an award of distinction from The Impact Doc Film Festival, and a humanitarian award from The Indie Film Fest. He is the co-host and creator of The Police Accountability Report on The Real News Network, which has received more than 10,000,000 views on YouTube. His work as a reporter has been featured on a variety of national shows including the Netflix reboot of Unsolved Mysteries, Dead of Night on Investigation Discovery Channel, Relentless on NBC, and Sins of the City on TV One.

He has co-authored several books on policing, corruption, and the root causes of violence including Why Do We Kill: The Pathology of Murder in Baltimore and You Can’t Stop Murder: Truths about Policing in Baltimore and Beyond. He is also the co-host of the true crime podcast Land of the Unsolved. Prior to joining The Real News, Janis won three Capital Emmys for investigative series working as an investigative producer for WBFF. Follow him on Twitter.

Host & Producer
Taya Graham is an award-winning investigative reporter who has covered U.S. politics, local government, and the criminal justice system. She is the host of TRNN's "Police Accountability Report," and producer and co-creator of the award-winning podcast "Truth and Reconciliation" on Baltimore's NPR affiliate WYPR. She has written extensively for a variety of publications including the Afro American Newspaper, the oldest black-owned publication in the country, and was a frequent contributor to Morgan State Radio at a historic HBCU. She has also produced two documentaries, including the feature-length film "The Friendliest Town." Although her reporting focuses on the criminal justice system and government accountability, she has provided on the ground coverage of presidential primaries and elections as well as local and state campaigns. Follow her on Twitter.