On Friday, former East Pittsburgh officer Michael Rosfeld, 30, was acquitted for the June 2018 fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose.
Immediately after the verdict was announced, a crowd gathered outside of the Allegheny County Courthouse and began protesting into the night, reported WTAE.
Back in 2018, Rosfeld pulled over a car to investigate a reported drive-by shooting. During the stop, Rose began running from the car and was shot three times, including in the back, by Rosfeld.
Authorities determined Rose was an unarmed passenger in the vehicle and was not the gunman in the drive-by shooting.
During the trial, which lasted only four days, Rosfeld’s lawyer argued the officer was justified.
Clifford Jobe, an expert witness on use of force, took the stand and said Rosfeld’s use of force was consistent with training.
Two days after Rosfeld was found not guilty, a vigil was held to honor Rose. During the gathering, Michelle Kenney, Rose’s mother, told reporters her fight isn’t over.
“The problem is the law. The problem isn’t the individual. If we rewrite the law, then all individuals gotta abide by it, so we, that’s where we gotta start at. So no, it’s not over for me. I got a long fight ahead of me, a long fight. We gotta rewrite the law and one way or the other, Michael Rosfeld gotta answer for what he did to Antwon. He gotta answer for that,” Kenney told local news stations.
According to Kenney, Rosfeld showed no remorse during the trial.
“When that verdict was read, it was no remorse, it was relief. Because he knew, his mother knew, his wife knew and his family knew that he was a murderer, so there was never, never once did they shed a tear or feel any remorse for what happened to Antwon,” she added.
Kenney went on to warn other police departments who are considering hiring Rosfeld.
“One more thing before I forget — in the state of Pennsylvania and in Allegheny County, when you get fired from a jurisdiction, you can get hired by another one. To all of those jurisdictions in Allegheny County, before they say I’m defaming him, he murdered my son. Whether he was convicted or not, he murdered my son. They say if you do it once, you’ll do it twice,” she said. “So if another jurisdiction decides that they want to pick up that liability, just remember Antwon Michael Rose II is deceased. Now you can hire him if you want to, I’m not here to stop you. But somebody else’s mother is gonna be sitting my shoes and there’ll be another court case.”
Prosecutors charged the white East Pittsburgh police officer who fatally shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose II with criminal homicide on Wednesday.
According to court records obtained by CNN, Officer Michael Rosfeld was arraigned Wednesday morning and his bail was set at $250,000, court records show. A preliminary hearing is set for July 6. Details from the criminal complaint revealed the unarmed Black teen was shot three times — once in his face, once in the right arm and one shot to the middle of his back — during the June 19 incident.
While the complaint also noted Rose was a passenger in a car suspected in an earlier shooting, the teen did not appear to be the shooter and Rosfeld made inconsistent statements about whether he believed Antwon had a gun during the fatal encounter.
During the traffic stop, Rosfeld ordered the driver out of the car and onto the ground. While the driver was being handcuffed, Rose and another passenger "bolted" from the vehicle, prompting Rosfeld to discharge his weapon, police told CNN.
After the shooting, investigators found two guns under the passenger seat: a 9mm Glock with a 17-round clip missing one bullet and a .40-caliber Glock with an extended clip containing 18 rounds, the complaint read.
At the hospital, police collected Antwon's belongings, which included a light-colored T-shirt and an empty magazine for the 9mm Glock.
According to the complaint, another police officer told investigators what they believed happen during the shooting. While the driver of the car was instructed to get on the ground, the front-seat passenger exited the vehicle and "turned his hand toward Officer Rosfeld and he, Officer Rosfeld, saw something dark that he perceived as a gun,” said police.
He stepped out from behind his car door for a better view and opened fire, the officer told investigators.
Antwon Rose was laid to rest on Monday and thousands attended his funeral.
(Photo: Allegheny County District Attorney's Office)