Yesterday, Officer Michael H. Rosfeld was charged with criminal homicide for the shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose on June 19 in Pittsburgh. During a traffic stop, officers, including Rosfeld, reportedly claimed they were investigating a nearby shooting. The driver, Rose and one other person were in the car. The driver was arrested. The other passenger escaped, but was arrested on June 26. Rose allegedly ran as well and was shot in the back three times. As for the nearby shooting to which the officers were responding, investigators confirmed Rose was not involved in the incident.
While the family of Rose is satisfied with the criminal homicide charge, they are also seeking a conviction.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, one of the attorneys for the Rose family, S. Lee Merritt, said yesterday they are “holding out for a conviction and proper sentencing.” Merritt also added he does have faith in the district attorney’s staff, saying, “They’re very dedicated investigators. From what they’ve been able to produce so far, they’re taking on this case aggressively. That is reassuring, but we want to do what’s in the best interest of justice for Antwon Rose.”
We are certainly holding out hope for a conviction and sentencing, but too often cops get away with shooting Black men who were not a threat. Philando Castile was shot and bled to death on Facebook Live in July 2016, but the officer was acquitted. Tamir Rice, who was only 12, was killed by a cop in November of 2014, and the officer was never indicted. Eric Garner died on camera in July of 2014 and the cop who killed him wasn’t indicted.
If Rosfeld, who was reportedly sworn in 90 minutes before the shooting, is convicted for killing Rose, that would be a welcomed surprise.
Our condolences to Rose’s family and friends. We hope they receive justice.