WATCH: Protesters Surround Home of Police Officer Charged in Killing of Unarmed Teen

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the home of a Pittsburgh-area police officer hours after he was charged in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager.

“A 17-year-old boy is dead and his killer is free,” Godfrey, a protester who only gave his first name, told ABC Pittsburgh affiliate WTAE-TV of the officer Wednesday night. “So we’re here because if it was anyone else he would not be free, he’d be standing behind bars. Antwon Rose’s mother is crying while his killer is free.”

Officer Michael Rosfeld of the East Pittsburgh Police Department shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose in the borough of East Pittsburgh on the night of June 19, after the teen and two others were pulled over in a car believed to have been connected to a drive-by shooting earlier that night in the nearby borough of North Braddock.

Rose was struck three times from behind, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner, after he and another passenger fled on foot from Rosfeld. The medical examiner has ruled Rose’s death a homicide.

Rosfeld was arraigned on one count of criminal homicide Wednesday morning and subsequently released from jail on $250,000 unsecured bond.

Protests condemning Rose’s killing have consumed the roadways and public spaces in and around downtown Pittsburgh in the days after the shooting. Although demonstrators hailed the charge filed against Rosfeld Wednesday, they were angry that he was allowed to be released from custody.

As night fell Wednesday, dozens of people filled the street outside Rosfeld’s listed address in a residential area of Penn Hills, a municipality in Allegheny County, about 13 miles northeast of downtown Pittsburgh.

Some protesters held megaphones as they chanted for justice, while several officers from the Penn Hill Police Department stood guard in front of the two-story home.

It’s unclear whether Rosfeld was in the home.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said neither passenger was in possession of a weapon as they fled and Rose “didn’t do anything in furtherance” of a crime in North Braddock or East Pittsburgh.

Prosecutors have called the killing an “intentional act” and said they argued “vigorously” that Rosfeld should be denied bail because the charge carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. But they were overruled by the magisterial district judges presiding over the case.

“It’s an intentional act and there’s no justification for it,” Zappala said during a news conference Wednesday. “Somebody’s dead. Can there be any more dangerous [of a] situation?”

Rosfeld, 30, had been on the job as an East Pittsburgh police officer for three weeks and was formally sworn in just hours before the deadly shooting happened. He has been placed on unpaid leave since the incident, and the Allegheny County Police Department is leading the investigation.

Pat Thomassey, an attorney for Rosfeld, told ABC News in an interview Wednesday that he’s not surprised by the charge but his client is “devastated” by what happened and is seeking counseling. Thomassey said the officer had reasonable belief that the individuals in the car had been involved in a serious crime, citing the vehicle’s busted windows, so he fired his gun when the suspects fled.

Two guns were recovered from the light-gold Chevrolet Cruze from which Rose and the other passenger fled June 19: a 9 mm Glock pistol under the front portion of the passenger seat that had been reported lost that day in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and a .40-caliber Glock pistol under the rear portion of the front passenger seat that had been reported stolen in 2016 in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, according to the affidavit.

An examination of the firearms by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s crime laboratory determined that the spent casings recovered from the scene of the June 19 drive-by shooting in North Braddock were fired from the stolen .40-caliber pistol found in the Chevrolet Cruze in East Pittsburgh.

Detectives determined that Zaijuan Hester, 17, was the individual who fired the .40-caliber pistol from the Chevrolet Cruze in the drive-by shooting that preceded Rose’s killing. Hester was arrested and charged Wednesday morning for aggravated assault, criminal homicide, receiving stolen property and firearm charges, according to WTAE. He is being held at the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center.

Rose was not armed when he was shot. But an empty gun magazine was discovered in his right-front pocket that fit the 9 mm pistol found in the Chevrolet Cruze, according to the affidavit.

“Antwon didn’t do anything in North Braddock other than be in that vehicle,” Zappala told reporters Wednesday. “Antwon did not fire a gun at all … the 9 mm was never discharged.”

Rosfeld is scheduled to appear before a judge for a preliminary hearing July 6.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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