Supporters of Antwon Rose II, the unarmed Black teenager gunned down by a cop, planned to mobilize on Monday in their fight for justice, as Antwon’s family took the next legal steps against the acquitted former officer.
Pittsburgh High school and college students organized a walkout from classes to rally peacefully at the Pittsburgh City-County Building and Allegheny County Courthouse at noon on Monday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Michael Rosfeld, a white ex-East Pittsburgh police officer, fatally shot 17-year-old Antwon on June 19, 2018, as the teenager fled a traffic stop in East Pittsburgh. A jury acquitted Rosfeld on all charges Friday.
“School leaders have been encouraged to work with student leaders to develop a plan that ensures students are safe while participating in any demonstrations,” the Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent said a statement, adding, “It is critical that we help our students find their voice during this challenging time.”
Rosfeld shot Antwon just hours after he was sworn in as a police officer. During the traffic stop, officers, including Rosfeld, claimed they were investigating a nearby shooting. The driver, Antwon and one other person were in the car. The driver was arrested. The other passenger escaped but was arrested days later. Antwon ran and was shot in the back three times. As for the nearby shooting to which officers were responding, investigators confirmed Rose was not involved in the incident.
The 30-year-old police officer, who faced life in prison if found guilty, was charged with a criminal homicide charge, which included murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter.
Attorney S. Lee Merrit, who represented the Rose family, said in a statement, “While the family of Antwon Rose is devastated that former officer Michael Rosfeld was acquitted today, they are grateful for the support of the community and from many around the country.”
On Saturday, Antwon Rose Sr., Antwon’s father, filed a motion in federal court to lift the stay on a civil suit against Rosfeld. A federal district court judge had ordered a stay on filing a civil case until the criminal case was finished. The attorney representing the Rose family notified attorneys for Rosfeld, East Pittsburgh Mayor Louis J. Payne and police Chief Lori Fruncek that they are required to respond to the civil complaint within 21 days.