By Scotty Reid, 10/4/2012, news
On September 21, 2012 Anthony Anderson was leaving a East Baltimore liquor store when he became a target of a police drug investigation. Witnesses said that three plain-clothes officer ran up to the victim and that one of the officers grabbed Anderson from behind, hoisted him up in air and slammed him to the pavement. As Anderson lay on the ground apparently knocked unconscious from being slammed to the concrete, witnesses say officers began to kick him and yelled at him to get up. The three officers involved in the attack are Todd A. Strohman, Gregg Boyd and Michael Vodarick.
Anderson would later die as a result of his injuries and now the Office of the Medical Examiner has ruled the death a homicide dismissing the officers claim that he died from choking on pills he allegedly tried to swallow. The Baltimore police say they are still investigation and that upon its completion the city’s state attorney will decide if any charges against the officer will be filed.
The autopsy report says that the victim, Anthony Anderson sustained several broken ribs, a ruptured spleen and massive internal bleeding.
The Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police president Robert Cherry Jr. has sought to portray one of the officers as a hero and said that the officers did not do anything wrong and that they followed police protocol and Anderson died as a result of injuries from his “fall”.
Anderson’s death at the hands of the officers has sparked protest rallies and marches in East Baltimore and advocates are demanding the officer/officers be charged with second degree murder. According to lawyers, second degree murder in the state of Maryland is the “killing of another person with either the intent to kill or the intent to inflict such serious bodily harm that death would be the likely result. Second-degree murder doesn't require premeditation or deliberation.”
The new Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts has promised the family a full and thorough investigation and was criticized for turning over autopsy results to the family and their attorney saying it could “compromise the case”.
Anti-drug war advocates point to victims such as Mr. Anderson as one of the reasons that drug prohibition must end. Anthony Anderson effectively received a death sentence for allegedly being in possession of a few pills.