Ten days ago, on June 19, East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld pulled over a car he suspected was connected to an earlier drive-by shooting. Two of the car's occupants fled the vehicle, and Rosfeld opened fire, killing 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr.
Rose was unarmed.
The story gained national attention, as Rose's death marked the latest casualty in a long string of unarmed black males killed at the hands of police. One day after Rose's death, protests began in Pittsburgh, blocking traffic on major thoroughfares until late in the night. The demonstrations continued through the week until Sunday, when Rose's visitation was scheduled, and Monday, when his funeral was held.
The protestors cited not only outrage at the death of another young, unarmed black man by police, but also a lack of faith in Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala to indict Rosfeld. However, on Wednesday morning, Zappala charged Rosfeld with homicide.
Despite the relatively quick and serious charge, protestors were not satisfied: though Rosfeld was released on $250,000 unsecured bond, he wasn't required to present bail money upfront and is currently on house arrest. Protestors want to see his bond revoked, and are concerned that, even though the charges against him are grave, officers are rarely convicted in such cases.
Joining us to discuss the events and legal implications of the past ten days are WESA's Chris Potter and An-Li Herring, Shelly Bradbury of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and WESA's legal analyst David Harris.
The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and storytellers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.