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Jury clears white officer in fatal shooting of black teenager

by Mickey McLean
Posted 3/23/19, 09:33 am

A jury in Pittsburgh acquitted a white former police officer Friday in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager who fled during a traffic stop of a car that had been involved in a drive-by shooting minutes earlier.

Prosecutors had charged former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld with homicide in the death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose in June 2018. During the incident, which was caught on video, Rose and another teen fled from the car while Rosfeld arrested the driver. Rosfeld fired several rounds, hitting Rose three times in the elbow, back, and face. Rosfeld testified that he thought Rose or the other teen had a gun pointed at him and fired his weapon only to protect himself and the community. Neither teen was holding a weapon, but two guns were later found in the vehicle.

Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Fodi said in his closing argument that Rosfeld had acted as “judge, jury and executioner,” and the video evidence showed “there was no threat” to the officer. Defense lawyer Patrick Thomassey told reporters that Rosfeld is “a good man. He said to me many times, ‘Patrick, this has nothing to do with the kid’s color. I was doing what I was trained to do.’”

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Mickey McLean

Mickey is executive editor of WORLD Digital.

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