The Death of Antwon Rose II

PHOTOS: Protest grips the Allegheny County Courthouse as 100s demand “Justice for Antwon Rose”

The 17-year-old was fatally shot Tuesday by an East Pittsburgh police officer.

DSC_0117
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
TheIncline_icon_color

Updated 7:17 p.m.

Less than two days after 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. was shot and killed by an East Pittsburgh police officer, protesters gathered at the Allegheny County Courthouse to demand that the officer involved be held accountable and that the eyes of a nation not look away.

Speakers at today’s two-hour rally called for attendees to get involved and vote and urged voters to oust Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala.

“You need to be in the streets… They need to see how many people care about this issue,” Brandi Fisher, president of the Alliance for Police Accountability, told the crowd.

Hundreds gathered, spilling into and shutting down Grant Street, chanting “Say his name: Antwon Rose Jr.,” and “No justice, no peace.”

DSC_0047
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline

Rose was shot three times Tuesday as he ran from a car that had been pulled over in East Pittsburgh, a borough located 11 miles southeast of Downtown Pittsburgh. Widely circulated eyewitness video shows Rose and another individual running and almost immediately being fired upon by an officer at the scene. Authorities said Rose was shot three times and pronounced dead about 40 minutes later. He was unarmed.

The East Pittsburgh officer who fired shots had been sworn-in just hours earlier, but had seven years of prior experience with other area departments, KDKA-TV reported. That officer was identified today as Michael H. Rosfeld, the Post-Gazette reported. An investigation is underway. Officials said the officer stopped the vehicle Rose was seen fleeing from because it was believed to have been involved in a non-fatal shooting in nearby North Braddock minutes earlier.

S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer representing the Rose family, told The Incline he is aware of no evidence directly tying Rose to the North Braddock shooting and that he believes this to be an unjustified homicide by a law enforcement officer.

Speakers passed the mic between chants from the crowd and called for justice — saying settlement payments aren’t enough and won’t bring Rose back.

Ayodeji Young, a board member of the Alliance for Police Accountability, said the organization is calling for a “full, open investigation” into Rose’s death, which Young and others throughout the rally called a murder.

When Young took the mic, he asked the crowd to look around at all the black men in attendance.

“What you’re looking at is experts, expertise in police brutality,” he said.

Today’s rally followed one last night in East Pittsburgh and included a slate of speakers, including Leon Ford, who was shot and paralyzed by police during a traffic stop in 2012. In January, he received a $5.5 million settlement from the City of Pittsburgh.

He called for the crowd to hold politicians accountable and elect those who will make systemic change.

“I fought for six years, and I thought that this wouldn’t happen again,” he said, adding that he sat with Rose’s mom earlier this week, feeling guilty that he survived and the teen didn’t. “So here we are again protesting. How long will it last?”

He said it’s Rose who will change the city forever. As he spoke, Ford started tearing up, but continued as the crowd shouted words of support.

“We can’t afford not to step up, not to speak up … while we are out here speaking and protesting, somebody is getting gunned down, whether it’s by the police or somebody in the community,” Ford said.

Zappala’s office released a statement, as hundreds rallied on the steps of the Downtown courthouse, where his office is located.

District Attorney Zappala met this morning with Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough and Lt. Andy Schurman and received a detailed and thorough briefing on the officer involved shooting in East Pittsburgh that resulted in the death of Antwon Rose. The investigation remains ongoing at this time.

Throughout the rally, speakers urged the crowd to remember to vote, and volunteers distributed voter registration forms in the crowd.
They also urged the crowd to support a candidate to oust Zappala who is up for re-election in 2019, saying they don’t believe the DA will bring justice for Rose. Earlier today, the Black Political Empowerment Project called for the case to be passed onto the Attorney General’s Office of Pennsylvania.

“It matters who you put in positions,” Fisher told the crowd, adding that if people vote they can have people representing them who think, love and look like them.

Summer Lee, democratic candidate for Pa. House District 34, took the mic saying people have the power to make change — just as they did in Woodland Hills School board elections and in her campaign, where she defeated current state Rep. Paul Costa in the May primary. She said it’s not about fighting the power, but seizing it.

“We have power to move right now,” she said.

See more from today’s protest:

A demonstrator holds a sign to protest the death of Antwon Rose.
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0195
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0206
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0004
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0017
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0011
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0237
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0217
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0215
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0203
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0179
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0176
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0166
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0164
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0159
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0156
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0154
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0149
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0147
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0136
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0132
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0129
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0126
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0121
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0117
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0112
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0109
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0100
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0098
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0084
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0078
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0071
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0067
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0059
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0043
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0041
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0034
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0031
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0028
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0025
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0024
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
A person holds a sign at a protest in Downtown Pittsburgh after the death of Antwon Rose 11.
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0009
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline
DSC_0008
Rossilynne Culgan / The Incline

Want some more? Explore other The Death of Antwon Rose II stories.

We love you, Pittsburgh.

Looks like you’re the type of person who reads to the end of articles.

Because you love learning about Pittsburgh, you need our free morning newsletter, full of useful news, can’t-miss events, and everything else you need to know about our city.

It feels like we know each other.

It’s nice seeing you here, because we can’t do this without you.

Make our relevant, original, and actionable journalism possible by contributing now.

Let’s make it official.

Your support allows us to do great work like the article you just read, and we can’t do it without you.

Will you become a member today to help us for the long haul?

You’re the best.

Members often ask us how they can go the extra mile to help us. Your financial support makes this possible. Bringing your friends makes it fun.

Get your loved ones to sign up for our daily newsletter today.