Black Lives Matter

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

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. 

Kathleen Davis / 90.5 WESA

Updated at 12:33 a.m.

More than 200 demonstrators marched through the South Side on Saturday, marking the fourth consecutive night of protests following the death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. at the hands of suburban police.

Officer Left University Job After Case There Dropped

Jun 23, 2018
Gene J. Puskar / AP

A Pennsylvania police officer who fired the shots that killed a teenager fleeing a traffic stop left his previous job with a university police force about a month after prosecutors dropped a case against three men he'd filed charges against.

East Pittsburgh Officer Michael Rosfeld, who officials say shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. on Tuesday, worked for the University of Pittsburgh police until early this year, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Saturday.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

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.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

About 300 people marched from Homewood to North Point Breeze Saturday afternoon led by black activists and followed by white allies. 

The peaceful march organized by a group of black women and femmes intentionally prioritized the needs and voices of black attendees. All intersections of the black community including physical ability and sexual orientation and identity were welcomed as well as white allies. Organizer Deaja Baker said it was a chance to uplift the black communities.

Samey Jay

UPDATE: The March on Google, which was scheduled to take place outside of Google's Pittsburgh campus at Bakery Square Saturday, has been postponed. Organizers posted online early Wednesday that it was on hold due to "Alt Left Terrorist threats." 

Theresa Stigale / EOTS Flickr Group

Frank Rizzo, the outspoken former police commissioner and mayor, is seen as a hard-nosed law-and-order figure by some.

But to Black Lives Matter activists in Philadelphia, Rizzo's time in public office was marked by violent crackdowns on black activists and statements that many viewed as racist.

Virginia Alvino / 90.5 WESA

Standing on the corner of Liberty Avenue and Wood Street, Joe Kennedy held a paper sign Thursday. It read, “I am a human being.”

“Systems change when change is demanded, and I’m here to demand change,” said Kennedy, 48. “It is unacceptable that in a society that calls itself the land of the free and the home of the brave, black men are being gun downed at taxpayer expense by law enforcement.”

I write novels for a living, and novels are about how characters deal with the intrinsic conflicts that make them who they are — and their efforts to overcome them. Sometimes characters are able to overcome their conflicts and sometimes, in tragedies, they succumb to them, which results in ruin. This is why it troubled me so much to witness recent events unfold like something out of a book.

On Sunday, in the hours after the attack on officers in Baton Rouge, La., police reformers were quick to condemn the killings — and there were touching efforts to bridge the divide between the black community and police, such as a cookout in Wichita, Kan. Planned as a protest, it was repurposed as a community barbecue with local police.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Fourteen Pittsburgh Police officers trained to detect implicit bias and procedural justice interventions as part of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice will now be tasked with passing along that information to fellow officers.

Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia

The hacktivist group Anonymous is calling for a National Day of Rage protests in cities across America today. This is being done in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The Pittsburgh protest is scheduled to take place this evening at 7pm at the City County Building.  Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman joins us to talk about how things have become so tense that Tim Scott,  a conservative senator from South Carolina, has broken ranks to express his concerns about policing.

People's Convention Participants March Through Downtown

Jul 8, 2016
Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Thousands of grassroots activists from across the country marched through downtown Pittsburgh Friday afternoon, demanding racial, economic and environmental justice.

The participants are part of the People's Convention taking place this weekend. The gathering of community leaders aims to create a community of action and share best practices for inciting change. 

Center for Popular Democracy / Facebook

Hundreds of activists, community organizers and progressive elected officials from around the country are meeting in Pittsburgh this weekend. 

Jose Luis Magana / AP Images

A Baltimore judge cleared Edward Nero, the second of six police officers to stand trial in the Freddie Gray case, of all charges on Monday.

Gray sustained a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody last April. The previous trial of Officer William Porter resulted in a mistrial, the state plans to retry Porter later this year.

Pittsburgh Police K9 Unit / Facebook

Pittsburgh social justice activists and a police accountability group are seeking answers following the deadly shooting of Bruce T. Kelley Jr., and calling for a possible policy change in regard to police dogs.

WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh Resolves to End White Silence

Jan 16, 2015
WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh

Throughout the last 6 months of demonstrations and protests of police violence, activists all over the world have adopted the phrase, “Black Lives Matter.” In addition to that message, you may have seen the phrases, “I resolve to challenge racism” and “End White Silence.” 

In many cases, the people holding up signs with those phrases have been white.

Recognizing that discussions of race and racism can be different when people of color are not present, WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh is a local group focused on promoting anti-racist action, and knowledge.

Members such as etta cetera and Rose Lynd who identify as white, look at ways to challenge racism in their communities, among family and friends, even within themselves. They discuss the ongoing work of WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh and the many ways they confront racial injustice.

Recently, Police Chief Cameron McLay came under fire for appearing in a photograph with the hashtag "End White Silence," a social media campaign initiated by WHAT'S UP?! Pittsburgh. Critics of McLay's photo say he was inferring that the police were racist. etta and Rose, however, say their message is more about helping white people to become active when considering racial issues.