Monday, January 18, 2021

East Pittsburgh Cop who Shot and Killed 17-Yr-Old Anton Rose Acquitted; Protests Sparked

antwon rose - michael rosfeld
Antwon Rose Jr.; MIchael Rosfeld
Screenshot: CBS PIttsburgh, WPXI.com

*Crap! Here we go again. If you haven’t heard, a now former Pittsburgh area cop was acquitted on Friday for fatally shooting Antwon Rose II, an unarmed black teenagerRose, 17, was shot in the back by then-East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld while fleeing from a traffic stop last June.

Rose was sitting in the passenger seat of an unlicensed taxicab when Rosfeld pulled him and another teen, Zaijuan Hester, over. The car matched the description of a vehicle involved in a drive-by shooting that had occurred just minutes earlier. Once stopped, Rose and Hester quickly bolted from the car. Rosfeld then opened fire and shot Rose three times in his back, arm, and face.

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Here’s more via Vox:

Rosfeld, who had been sworn in as a rookie officer with the East Pittsburgh Police Department only hours before the shooting, was charged with criminal homicide in Rose’s death. A police affidavit used to charge Rosfeld showed that the officer had given conflicting statements to investigators over the course of interviews with detectives. In an initial interview, Rosfeld suggested Rose may have been carrying something resembling a gun when he shot the teenager, but when detectives followed up, Rosfeld clarified that he did not see whether or not Rose was armed.

On Friday, however, a jury acquitted Rosfeld of all counts in a deliberation that took fewer than four hours. District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., who tried the case in Allegheny County, said in a statement that he disagreed with the verdict but respected the jury’s decision.

“In the interest of justice, we must continue to do our job of bringing charges in situations where charges are appropriate, regardless of the role an individual holds in the community,” Zappala said.

Of course you won’t be surprised to learn that Rose’s family on Friday condemned the verdict.

“I hope that man never sleeps at night,” the teen’s mother, mother, Michelle Kenney, said according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report. “I hope he gets as much sleep as I do, which is none.”

Get more of this story at Vox and find out why police are rarely prosecuted for shooting and killing people.

In related news, shots were fired into the office of the attorney for Michael Rosfeld who, as we reported above, was acquitted in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Antwon Rose II, and protests over the verdict continued Saturday.

No one was hurt in the drive-by shooting apparently directed at the office of attorney Pat Thomassey in Monroeville late Friday, said Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole.

Protesters on Saturday gathered at an intersection called Freedom Corner in the city’s Hill District neighborhood, the historic center of black cultural life in Pittsburgh, the Associated Press reported.

One man held a sign with the names of black men killed by police around the U.S.

“It’s very painful to see what happened, to sit there and deal with it,” Rose’s father, Antwon Rose Sr., told the crowd. “I just don’t want it to happen to our city no more. It’s happening like every other day. We’ve got to do more in our community so they have more stuff to do.”

 

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