Identity & Justice

The identity and justice desk explores how the makeup of the Pittsburgh community is changing, and digs into issues of diversity and equity.

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

The foreman of a jury that acquitted a white Pennsylvania police officer of homicide said Michael Rosfeld did not know the black teen he shot was unarmed and that his decision to run after his vehicle was pulled over factored into the verdict.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Hundreds of high school and college students walked out of classrooms Monday morning demanding justice for Antwon Rose, the teen who was shot and killed in June by an East Pittsburgh police officer.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

Amid a weekend of protests after the verdict came late Friday in the trial over the fatal shooting of Antwon Rose, people gathered in Rankin on Sunday to honor the 17 year old.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

After rallying in support of the family of Antwon Rose Jr. in the Hill District on Saturday afternoon, a crowd of hundreds marched downtown, blocking streets and chanting “No justice, no peace!” and “Who did this? The police did this!”

Matt Rourke / AP

The wife of former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld burst into tears, shaking uncontrollably, when a jury announced Friday it had acquitted her husband of homicide. Meanwhile, the mother of Antwon Rose, who the officer fatally shot last summer, did not cry in the courtroom. Michelle Kenney later said she was disappointed in the verdict but not surprised.

Lawyer's Office Shot At After Rosfeld's Acquittal In Antwon Rose's Death

Mar 23, 2019
Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

Gunshots were fired overnight through the office window of the attorney for a white police officer acquitted in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager - a verdict that left Pittsburgh a city on edge Saturday.


A jury on Friday acquitted a white former police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in the back as he was fleeing a high-stakes traffic stop outside Pittsburgh, a confrontation that was captured on video and led to weeks of unrest.

Rosfeld Found Not Guilty In Death Of Antwon Rose

Mar 22, 2019
Nate Smallwood / Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP

Former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld was found not guilty on all charges in his homicide trial Friday evening. The jury deliberated for nearly four hours before returning the verdict.  

Michael Rosfeld Says He Thought Gun Was Pointed At Him

Mar 21, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

A white former police officer charged with killing an unarmed black teenager outside Pittsburgh took the stand in his own homicide trial Thursday afternoon.  

Marc Levy / AP

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is taking legal action over what it says is are unacceptably long wait times for mentally ill inmates in county prisons to get care.

It’s not a new issue.

In fact, this is the ACLU’s third time bringing the problem to federal court.

When people who commit crimes are found too mentally ill to stand trial, they’re supposed to be placed in state care. The need varies based on their offense and their health—some go to secure, prison-like facilities while others can live more independently in community programs.

Nate Smallwood/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review via AP, Pool

Prosecutors will call more witnesses to the stand Thursday in the trial of a white former police officer charged with homicide for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager.

Courtesy of Heather Tomko

Uneven sidewalks, limited navigable pathways and businesses without proper accomodations for wheelchairs are just some of the obstacles facing Heather Tomko every day. 

Matt Rourke / AP

A witness in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer said Wednesday he saw the officer standing on the sidewalk, panicking, saying, "I don't know why I shot him. I don't know why I fired."

W.Va. Suit Accuses Diocese Of Knowingly Employing Pedophiles

Mar 19, 2019
Julio Cortez / AP

A Catholic diocese and its former bishop in West Virginia knowingly employed pedophiles and failed to conduct adequate background checks on camp and school workers, a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the state attorney general charges. 

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

From the moment the trial of former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld got underway, it was clear that the case will focus on his state of mind when he shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Antwon Rose, last summer. 

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

Relatives of Antwon Rose say they are "seeking the justice they so deserve" as a white police officer goes on trial in the fatal shooting of the unarmed black teenager.

Matt Rourke / AP

 The Pittsburgh synagogue that was the site of a shooting massacre that left 11 worshippers dead has started a fundraising campaign through GoFundMe to support New Zealand's Muslim community.

Mark Scolforo / AP

Pennsylvania's prison system is banning all tobacco products inside every facility's secure perimeter, starting July 1.

Matt Rourke / AP

Former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld goes on trial Tuesday for fatally shooting 17-year-old Antwon Rose last summer.

Mark Baker / AP

Pittsburgh Police will be increasing patrols at area mosques and the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh this weekend after attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand left 49 worshippers dead. 

Mark Scolforo / AP

Three weeks ago, the state prison system settled a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and other groups who said the Department of Corrections was violating inmates’ constitutional rights by making copies of legal mail.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Local community members, journalists and officials will gather at the Ace Hotel Wednesday night for a discussion about gun control legislation that would seek to include the unique experiences of women, minorities and religious groups. 

Matt Rourke / AP

A jury of six men and six women is in place for next week's trial of a white former Pennsylvania police officer accused of criminal homicide for the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager last year.

Leah Jonns / Courtesy of La'Tasha Mayes

Applications opened this month on the Social Justice Rapid Response Fund, a new program providing grants to help support activists in Pittsburgh. 

Matt Rourke / AP

A judge in the case of a white western Pennsylvania police officer accused of shooting to death a black teenager last year put a black woman on the jury Tuesday over the defense's objections but said he will reconsider the decision. 

Jury Selection Begins For Trial Of Officer Charged With Killing Antwon Rose

Mar 12, 2019

Jury selection begins Tuesday in a Harrisburg courtroom in the case of a white police officer accused of shooting to death an unarmed black teen in western Pennsylvania last summer.

The jurors will be taken to Allegheny County for the trial next week of Michael Rosfeld, a former East Pittsburgh Police officer charged with criminal homicide for the June 19 death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose II.

Allegheny County District Attorney / AP

Jury selection starts Tuesday in the homicide trial of Michael Rosfeld, the white police officer who fatally shot black unarmed teen Antwon Rose last summer in East Pittsburgh.

Cash For The Poor? General Assistance Welfare Again Under Threat In PA

Mar 8, 2019
Kimberly Paynter / AP

For the first time in decades, John Boyd feels hopeful about the future.

Olamikan Gbemiga / AP

Of all the challenges faced by people who’ve been displaced, perhaps none is more important than to find new meaning in their lives. And so it is with the four young women who are students in a college prep class that I teach at Dickinson College.

PA Department of Corrections

The Department of Corrections has arrested three staff members at three different state prisons for trying to smuggle in drugs.