Saturday marked the fourth day of demonstrations in Pittsburgh to protest the killing of an unarmed, black 17-year-old.
Antwon Rose Jr. was fatally shot by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld on Tuesday night while fleeing a traffic stop. Many are calling for criminal charges to be brought against Rosfeld -- sentiments that were on display during Saturday's Juneteenth parade to celebrate the end of slavery.
“This is not a new reality for us, it’s a national epidemic,” said Tammy Thompson of East Liberty. "It’s even more terrifying for parents of children, especially little black boys…we don’t know if they’re going to come home to us.”
Saturday’s procession began at Freedom Corner, at the intersection of Crawford Street and Centre Avenue in the Hill District. Scheduled parade marchers went first, then demonstrators followed.
They chanted slogans such as, “No justice, no peace!” and “Three shots to the back, how do you justify that?” a reference to the fact Rose was hit by three bullets.
It took the group a little less than 90 minutes to reach Point State Park, where Juneteenth events are scheduled throughout the weekend. Among those participating in the Juneteenth parade were Democratic elected officials including Mayor Bill Peduto and Congressman Conor Lamb, as well as state Rep. Ed Gainey and Summer Lee, who is poised to join the legislature next year.
Allegheny County police are investigating Rose’s shooting. Once that process is complete, District Attorney Stephen Zappala will decide whether to prosecute the officer.