Update: Michael Rosfeld, the officer who shot unarmed 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. as he ran away, was charged with criminal homicide on Wednesday, June 27, reports ABC News. Rosfeld was sworn in just 90 minutes before killing the high school student despite having worked there for three weeks. CBS News reports the University of Pittsburgh dismissed Rosfeld for cause.
According to Lee Merritt, an attorney representing the Rose family who appeared on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Rosfeld assaulted the school's highest ranking official's black son.
The cop who murdered #AntwonRose— Michael Rosfeld— was fired from the University of Pittsburgh for assaulting the school’s highest ranking official’s black son. This was foreseeable. Antwon’s murder was the result of the reckless pattern of recycling bad cops. pic.twitter.com/psQ11KKeU8— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) June 28, 2018
In his Situation Room appearance, Merritt said he viewed the charge against Rosfeld with "guarded optimism."
"We know that the family [and] our office is holding out for a conviction and appropriate sentencing, and so we've seen officers, although rarely indicted on serious charges like first-degree murder, as Michael Rosfeld is here, but this isn't over until we get a conviction and an appropriate sentence."
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, at a press conference on Wednesday, said despite Rose having an empty clip in his pocket, he did not have a weapon, reports Pittsburgh's Action 4 News.
"Based on that evidence I find that Rosfeld's actions were intentional, and they certainly brought about the result that he was looking to accomplish. He was not acting to prevent death or serious bodily injury. It is my position that he is not entitled to a justification charge to a jury as a defense. Antwon Rose didn't do anything in North Braddock other than be in that vehicle. And you have to possess a weapon. Neither of those young men were in possession of a weapon. You have to otherwise indicate that somebody is in a position to take human life, and that is not the case here."
Original story: A police officer shot and killed a 17-year-old boy, as he fled the scene of a traffic stop in Pittsburgh.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, an East Pittsburgh shooting on Tuesday, June 19, led to the fatal traffic stop. At approximately 8:20 p.m., police found a 22-year-old young man someone had shot. Witnesses said they saw a car fleeing the scene. Based on the information given about the vehicle, one reportedly matching the description was stopped by police a few blocks away. As police handcuffed the 20-year-old driver, Antwone Rose Jr., and another passenger fled the scene. Officer Michael Rosfeld responded by shooting Antwon.
Antwon was taken to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) McKeesport Hospital where he later died.
"He [the officer] stopped the vehicle and attempted to take the driver into custody. At that time, two other men in the vehicle exited and fled on foot," Allegheny County police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said. "The East Pittsburgh police officer fired at the fleeing suspects. One of those individuals is a 17-year-old male. He was transported to (UPMC) McKeesport Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:19 p.m."
The Post-Gazette reports Antwon's aunt, Mica Tinsley, saw the news story about the shooting, but she wasn't aware it involved Antwon until she called his mom.
"She said, 'Yes, Mica, the police killed Antwon,'" Tinsley said.
A Facebook user posted a disturbing and graphic video clip of the shooting showing the two passengers running away. Police fired three shots as the victims fall to the ground.
On Wednesday, Tinsley watched the video and became angry, according to the Post-Gazette.
"They're not even saying stop," she said. "They just started shooting, and he fell. He didn't make it far."
“Why did they have to shoot him when he is running away?” Selena Brooklin, who lives near the scene of the shooting, asked upon seeing the video. “What is the justification for that? There is no justification. There is no answer. You shot a man in the back while he was running away.”
When did running from the police become a death sentence?