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Protestors Halt Rush-Hour Traffic In Continued Protests Against Alleged Police Misconduct

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

A few dozen protesters rallying against the treatment of people of color by police officers in Allegheny County blocked off rush-hour traffic Monday afternoon in Downtown Pittsburgh. 

The protest marks the latest organized since the shooting death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. in June. Rose, black and unarmed, was shot by East Pittsburgh officer Michel Rosfeld, who has since been charged with criminal homicide. 

Organizer Nicky Jo Dawson cited the cases of Melanie Carter and Dontay Green, both of whom had violent encounters with officers.

"The whole world is watching," she said. "We have to set a blueprint that changes society, that eradicates systemic oppression."

Using a megaphone, Dawson acknowledged fatigue within the activist community. Living "under the thumb of oppression" can be exhausting, she said, "but this is what they expect. This is what they want."

As protestors spilled into the intersection of Boulevard of the Allies and Grant Street, a man in a silver, GMC truck attempted to drive through the group. He was stopped and led away by police.

"This is what white privilege looks like," Dawson said. "You get to plow into people because you want to get home."

Police have detained at least two other drivers in recent days for steering their vehicles into protesting crowds. Officers Monday remained on the scene, controlling traffic.

Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA and 91.3 WYEP, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community.