Letters to the editor: Antwon Rose, police & protests
The recent shooting of Antwon Rose is indeed a tragic event that has impacted countless lives. Now the guilt or innocence of Officer Michael Rosfeld will be determined by judge and jury as is the law.
What separates this case from others? Like others, it’s another incident where a black youth was shot by a white police officer. Sadly, this seems to have become an all-too-common occurrence. Yet this one is different. Like in other incidents from Milwaukee to Ferguson to Baltimore, protestors filled the streets. Unlike those other cities, the protests here have been peaceful. There have been no riots, no looting, no city set ablaze. This is a lesson that the rest of our country needs to see and learn from.
Yes, changes need to happen and perhaps protests like the ones here in Pittsburgh will be the catalyst. Until these changes come I fear incidents like this will continue; but hopefully when they do the citizens in whatever city will have seen how peaceful protest can accomplish more than the riots that all too frequently have occurred.
Pittsburgh is indeed teaching the country that protests do not have to be accompanied by violence. Hopefully both the police and protestors will walk that fine line and continue the country’s education on peaceful civil disobedience.
Every day it seems you read or hear about another mistaken-identity police shooting somewhere around the country and another Black Lives Matter protest. It’s the same old blame game: all cops are dirty, all black men are thugs. Classic stereotyping of police and of black men. Common sense tells us not every black man is a thug, and not every policeman is a dirty cop. I say stop, step back, take a deep breath and let’s work together on viable solutions.
Wouldn’t it be prudent for the U.S. government to create a public service announcement to show what we should do whenever approached by a policeman? Anyone remember the “Smokey the Bear” PSAs to prevent forest fires? The government could create similar PSAs for all Americans to follow whenever approached by a policeman, regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. This puts everyone on the same page: The police know what to expect from the citizens and the citizens know what to do.
These PSAs could be aired on television and radio, played in schools, posted on billboards, etc. This could be a first step toward reducing mistaken-identity shootings.
The killing of Antwon Rose is why NFL players take a knee. It is not about disrespect for the flag, this country or our veterans. It is about racism, stereotyping and prejudice. If you don’t understand this, take a look in the mirror because you are part of the problem.
The United States of America, once praised for being a melting pot of different cultures and traditions, once welcoming to the world’s poor and oppressed, has lost its sympathy and its understanding. The attitudes towards diversity have turned from curious and appreciative back to hatred and intolerance.
When unarmed children are gunned down in the streets by law enforcement officials, the country divides and erupts in argument about why or why not the child deserved to be murdered.
The Black Lives Matter movement, a response to institutional racism, has emerged as an attempt to confront these issues, and its members refer to themselves as liberators. The movement has suffered extensive criticism, and sparked the rise of other movements, such as Blue Lives Matter, created as a countermovement based on keeping law enforcement officials safe.
Even if its intentions were good and pure, any countermovement against Black Lives Matter must be considered racist. Any attempt to justify the killing of an unarmed black person, especially a minor, is inherently racist.
America must stand together, united, and make an effort to end institutionalized racism and to purge their minds of the generalizations which cause innocent lives to be taken prematurely. We must embrace what is different, and learn from it, rather than fear it and oppress it.
Change is necessary, and we must work together to achieve it.
Haley E. Sullivan
Can any one tell me why Amazon would build a distribution center in Pittsburgh when you have local government officials condoning the blocking of major highways? The purpose of a distribution center is to get product out quickly.
When mobs are allowed to shut down highways and stop law-abiding citizens from earning a living the blame lies on the heads of the mayor and county leaders. Any business would be crazy to locate in this lawless town.
I can understand and sympathize with those who have lost and continue to lose loved ones to violence in our area. The marches for justice against those who commit these senseless killings may be necessary for the communities affected to bring out their concern, anger and feeling of solidarity. T-shirts with the loved one’s picture on them are made in a minute and droves of people can organize instantly for a march. Screams of blame are heard loud and clear for hours.
However, why aren’t these concerned citizens and family members rallying asking why these young victims were out riding around or hanging out late at night or early morning instead of being home? Where are the parents and where is the respect that the young people are supposed to have for them? The violence will continue and there will be no peace within the homes or communities until morals and faith are restored.
It’s time for the media to give it a rest. Stop showing the protesters. Quit glorifying Antwon Rose. Show some impartiality. Give the public facts.
Quit calling this a “routine traffic stop.” It was not. It was a felony stop. Occupants are ordered to stay in the car and show their hands. When Rose chose to flee, the game changed immediately.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Tennessee v. Garner that a police officer may use deadly force on a fleeing suspect if he or she has “probable cause to believe the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”
The officer receives a reports of a shooting, sees a car matching the description of the one involved, including gunshot damage, and makes a felony stop. The subject flees. In the officer’s mind, this subject was involved, has a gun and is now a threat to the community. What would any reasonable person think?
Remember, it’s his duty to protect and serve the community. Based on his information, this is the car, the actor is seated where shots came from, and he flees. Who knows what he will do next? Shoot someone else? Jack a car? The officer knows he must protect the community. In his mind, that is what he did.
Regardless of what will be proven, the officer, acting in good faith on his information, did indeed have probable cause to believe that Rose posed a serious threat to others.
Come on media, include some of this in your reports, so they are not so biased.