PITTSBURGH, Pa. – This morning, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala held a press conference to address the criminal homicide charge brought against East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld. Rosfeld fatally shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr.
Reggie Shuford, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, issued the following statement in response:
“The ACLU commends District Attorney Zappala for his quick and decisive response to this horrific tragedy and interest in pursuing charges, including possibly first degree murder. The DA confirmed in his public remarks that there was no evidence Antwon was involved in the shooting which prompted the traffic stop. He was fleeing unarmed, and the officer had no justification for shooting and ultimately killing him.”
“It is refreshing to see the District Attorney’s office hold officers who abuse their power accountable.
“Our hearts continue to break for Antwon’s family and community. Just a week ago, they called for justice for Antwon. Criminal charges against Officer Rosfeld are a start.
“We are pleased with what appears to be the beginning of a thorough investigation. It is important for DA Zappala to determine all facts connected to the shooting. Local authorities must also assess how the officer in question was hired to begin with. We urge all Allegheny County police departments to adopt sound use-of-force policies and to review the hiring practices that allow officers with histories of behavioral issues to move from department to department without consequence.”