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Woman arrested at protest Friday was ready to go to jail for Antwon Rose | TribLIVE.com
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Woman arrested at protest Friday was ready to go to jail for Antwon Rose

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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters congregate at the Wood Street T-Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters listen to organizers while marching across the Roberto Clemente Bridge after congregating at the Wood Street T-Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters walk back across the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Friday, June 22, 2018, after protesting outside of PNC Park following the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters listen to organizers while marching across the Roberto Clemente Bridge after congregating at the Wood Street T-Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
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Aliyah McEnheimer, of Homestead, holds a sign at the police line while Stacie Michael, also of Homestead, writes on hers during a protest at the Homestead Grays Bridge against police brutality and gun violence on June 22, 2018.
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Protesters gathered on the Homestead Grays Bridge on Thursday, June 22, 2018 to protest gun violence and police brutality.
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Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
A group of marchers leaves Route 28 to East Ohio Street on the North Side after the group marched from Market Square to Route 28, Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest East Pittsburgh police Officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Michelle Morris, 55, of Penn Hills, joined the protest on Homestead Grays Bridge on June 22, 2018 to call for an end to police brutality and gun violence.
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Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Christian Carter, 18, of East Liberty attempts to calm the crowd after a tow truck driver incited a group of marchers at in intersection on the North Side. The group intially congregated at the Wood Street T-Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest East Pittsburgh police Officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
A group of marchers shut down an intersection, Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest East Pittsburgh police Officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
A group of marchers shut down an intersection, Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest East Pittsburgh police Officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
A man attempts to incite a group of marchers demonstrating in front of PNC Park, Friday, June 22, 2018. The group was marching to protest East Pittsburgh police Officer Michael Rosfeld's fatal shooting of 17-year-old Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student.
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Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Activist, Ciora Thomas confronts a State Troopers in riot gear after more than 150 people took over the Parkway East in both directions, Thursday, June 22, 2018 to protest East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld East fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student. Thomas was the only marcher arrested.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge after congregating at the Wood Street T-Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge after congregating at the Wood Street T-Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
ptrwoodstreetprotest202062318
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters listen to organizers while marching across the Roberto Clemente Bridge after congregating at the Wood Street T-Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
ptrwoodstreetprotest203062318
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters lead chants while marching across the Roberto Clemente Bridge after congregating at the Wood Street T-Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
Protest162318
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Prostesters block the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Sixth Street in downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018. The banner reading: 'Fire Killer Cops' is a response to the fatal shooting of Antwon Rose Jr. earlier in the week in East Pittsburgh.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
People protesting the East Pittsburgh police shooting of Antwon Rose marched through Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday night, June 22, 2018. It marked the third straight night of demonstrations since the shooting late Tuesday.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Prostesters block the intersection of Liberty Avenue and Sixth Street in downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018. The banner reading: 'Fire Killer Cops' is a response to the fatal shooting of Antwon Rose Jr. earlier in the week in East Pittsburgh.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters comfort one another during demonstration across Roberto Clemente Bridge onto the North Shore on Friday, June 22, 2018.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
A group protesting the police shooting of Antwon Rose descend upon the the gates to PNC Park on Friday, June 22, 2018.
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Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Protesters make their way across the Clemente Bridge to PNC Park Friday, June 22, 2018.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters lead chants after congregating at the Wood Street T-Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters walk away after demonstrating outside PNC Park on Friday, June 22, 2018, following the shooting death of Antwon Rose by an East Pittsburgh police officer.
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Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protester Christian Carter, 18, of East Liberty, leads protests after congregating at the Wood Street T-Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.
ptrwoodstreetprotest210062318
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Protesters walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge after congregating at the Wood Street T-Station in Downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, 2018, to protest the shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police.

After a nine-hour protest, Ciora Thomas ended her night sitting on a Port Authority bus alone at 3 a.m.

Thomas, 29, of Homestead was the only person arrested by state police after a marathon protest that started in East Pittsburgh and shut down the Parkway East for hours Thursday evening and early Friday.

The demonstration, which grew to 150 people at its peak, capped a day of protests following an East Pittsburgh officer’s killing of 17-year-old Antwon Rose on Tuesday. Authorities say Rose was unarmed and fleeing a car stopped by police when Officer Michael Rosfeld shot him in the back.

Police found two guns in the car, which they suspected was involved in a non-fatal shooting 13 minutes earlier.

At around 2 a.m. Friday, police warned the remaining protesters to clear the Parkway East in five minutes or be arrested. The major highway sees nearly 100,000 vehicles a day and had been closed for nearly 51⁄2 hours at that point.

Police in riot gear closed in.

Everyone left except Thomas.

“The cop approached me and put his club in my chest and pushed me back,” Thomas told the Tribune-Review on Friday. “I took a step back, and then I stood my ground. Then he pushed me again and another cop grabbed my wrist. They put plastic handcuffs on me.”

The officers then led her to a Port Authority bus, told her she would receive papers in the mail charging her with disorderly conduct, and drove her home in a police car, she said.

She was prepared to be arrested.

“I don’t have anything to lose,” said Thomas, who leads SisTers PGH, which helps transgender people find housing in the region. “I don’t have kids; I don’t have a family; I don’t have to go home to anyone or answer to anyone, and a lot of people out there did.

“The other part of me was saying, ‘Damn, I’m the only one out here.'”

She knew going to jail was a possibility.

“I know my community won’t let me be in jail long, so it was like whatever, let’s go,” she said. “It’s for Antwon and for black liberation in Pittsburgh.”

Black Lives Matter protests have shut down freeways across the country in recent years but never the Parkway East, the main artery between Pittsburgh and the eastern suburbs, said Brittani Murray, also a member of SisTers PGH.

“Taking down a major vein of the city that leads to extended commerce and has economic effects is the best way to get a message across,” Murray said.

PennDOT and state police coordinated to direct and divert traffic as the protest moved, said Steve Cowan, a spokesman for the state transportation agency.

The state police did not return calls and emails seeking comment about how it responded to the moving protest.

Cowan said PennDOT’s tunnel maintenance manager alerted other agency officials as the protest was moving to the parkway.

State police handled inbound traffic. PennDOT diverted outbound traffic and closed the outbound lanes of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

The original plan for Thursday was to protest outside of East Pittsburgh police headquarters, similar to a demonstration Wednesday night, said Brandi Fisher, president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Alliance for Police Accountability, one of the organizations leading the protest.

The protest started at 6 p.m., but then as officers started to block off the roadway to incoming traffic, people were having a hard time getting to the protest to join in, Fisher said. The group decided to mobilize.

The group walked down Ardmore Boulevard in Forest Hills around 9 p.m., with people joining along the way. Then it made its way on to the parkway with about 150 people.

The group was planning to do a freeway protest at some point, but the decision to do it Thursday was spontaneous, Fisher said.

“I think it was very effective,” Fisher said. “The whole point is to be disruptive and try to bring attention to it.”

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, [email protected] or via Twitter @tclift.


RELATED: <a href="https://triblive.com/local/allegheny/antwonroseshooting/" target="_blank" Read all of TribLIVE’s coverage on the Antwon Rose case.


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