Pittsburgh mayor, black elected leaders call for trial, charges in Rose killing |

Pittsburgh mayor, black elected leaders call for trial, charges in Rose killing

Bob Bauder
Megan Guza | Tribune-Review
Protesters gather at the Allegheny County Courthouse in Downtown, Pittsburgh on Thrusday, June 21, 2018, to protest the shooting and killing of an unarmed teenager by an East Pittsburgh police officer.

Elected officials from across the Pittsburgh area ratcheted up pressure on the district attorney to charge an East Pittsburgh police officer who shot and killed Antwon Rose.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto wants Officer Michael Rosfeld to stand trial, and a coalition of black city and county councilmen and state representatives wants charges brought against him immediately.

The Pittsburgh Black Elected Officials Coalition issued a statement Monday morning as Rose’s funeral was taking place at Woodland Hills Intermediate School, saying Rosfeld “took the judicial system into his own hands” when he killed the 17-year-old June 19.

“The PBEOC believes the District Attorney’s office should immediately bring charges against Officer Rosfeld,” the statement reads. “Officer Michael Rosfeld took the judicial system into his own hands when he ended Antwon’s life. A fair and impartial jury, representative of the community, now deserves an opportunity to assess Officer Rosfeld’s actions and deliver a verdict.”

Mike Manko, spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr., said the DA would wait until after the grieving process and funeral to publicly address the investigation.

“We did not put a specific time frame on that last week and still have not,” Manko said. “That is still his intention.”

The coalition includes Pittsburgh Councilmen Ricky Burgess of North Point Breeze and R. Daniel Lavelle of the Hill District; Allegheny County Councilman DeWitt Walton of the Hill District; and state Reps. Ed Gainey, D-East Liberty, Jake Wheatley Jr., D-Hill District, and Austin Davis, D-McKeesport.

“This past week, we, along with all our constituents and much of America, watched a video of Officer Michael Rosfeld of the East Pittsburgh Police shoot Antwon Rose, a 17-year-old, unarmed black boy, three times in the back while running away from a traffic stop,” they said. “And right before our eyes, tragically, Mr. Rose’s life was gone.

“In the days since, we have all wrestled with how to process another death at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve us. We are hurting, and our community is hurting. The pain and trauma we all feel may not leave our souls any time soon. But, the healing process can only begin when Antwon, his family, and the community get justice.”

Peduto weighed in later in the day, saying he believed Rosfeld should stand trial. The mayor told reporters that he thinks a trial should occur anytime there is a fatal shooting of an unarmed person “no matter what the situation was.”

“Yes, I think there should be a trial. I think that it should be a trial that is done by a jury,” Peduto said.

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