Friday 20 July 2018

Police officer charged over fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager

Michael Rosfeld faces criminal homicide charges over the death of Antwon Rose Jr.

Michael Rosfeld, an East Pittsburgh, police officer. Rosfeld was charged with homicide (AP)
Michael Rosfeld, an East Pittsburgh, police officer. Rosfeld was charged with homicide (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

A white police officer has been charged with criminal homicide over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Pennsylvania.

East Pittsburgh officer Michael Rosfeld, 30, will appear in court on July 6 over the killing of Antwon Rose Jr, 17, who was shot on June 19 after the car he was travelling in was pulled over.

Rosfeld turned himself in Wednesday morning, and was arraigned ahead of the hearing next month.

The officer had been sworn in just hours before the shooting, but had been working at the police department for two to three weeks.

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Michelle Kenney, the mother of Antwon Rose Jr, cries during the funeral service for her son at Woodland Hills Jr. High School (AP)

Authorities have said Mr Rose and another teenager fled after being pulled over on suspicion they were involved in a drive-by shooting. Mr Rose was shot three times, leading to daily protests around Pittsburgh.

Rosfeld pulled over the car Mr Rose was a passenger in on June 19, about 15 minutes after reports of a drive-by shooting in nearby North Braddock.

A 22-year-old man was shot in the abdomen in the drive-by, and was treated and released from the hospital.

A witness described a car from that shooting that matched the one Mr Rose was a passenger in. A bystander from a nearby home captured video of a portion of the stop and the shooting.

In the footage, as Rosfeld takes the driver of the car into custody, the back door can be seen opening and Mr Rose and the other teenager are seen running from the car. The officer then fires three shots.

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Protesters march onto Route 28 in demonstrations against the killing of Antwon Rose Jr (AP)

Rosfeld has been on administrative leave since the shooting occurred.

The charge against him comes a day after authorities arrested the second teenager seen running from the car on the night of the shooting.

Authorities say they expect to charge that teenager, whose name had not been released, in connection with the drive-by shooting that started the chain of events that led to Mr Rose’s shooting.

Rosfeld, of Penn Hills, had worked at several other police departments, including at the University of Pittsburgh, during the last seven years.

Press Association

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