White ex-cop found not guilty of criminal homicide for shooting death of unarmed black teen

/ CBS/AP

A Pennsylvania jury found a white former police officer not guilty of criminal homicide in the 2018 shooting death of an unarmed black teenager outside Pittsburgh. A jury in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, reached their verdict after deliberating for about three and a half hours Friday.

In closing statements Friday, a prosecutor said former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld acted as "judge, jury and executioner" when he killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose II on June 19, 2018. Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Fodi said that Rose didn't deserve to die.

"Antwon Rose posed no risk to Michael Rosfeld. It doesn't look good because it isn't good," Fodi said, according to CBS Pittsburgh. "There was no need to use deadly force. This is not reasonable police work by an officer."

Defense attorney Patrick Thomassey said in his closing argument that Rosfeld was justified in shooting the fleeing teenager because the officer believed he was in danger.

Judge Alexander Bicket finished giving the jury instructions Friday afternoon following closing arguments and sent the panel to deliberate, reports CBS Pittsburgh. The jury of six men and six women, including three African-Americans, was selected across the state in Harrisburg and has been sequestered in a Pittsburgh hotel for the duration of the trial.

East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld (L) is charged with the shooting death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. (R). Allegheny County Jail (L); STK, Embrace Life/Woodland Hills School District via CBS Pittsburgh (R)

Rosfeld had just pulled over an unlicensed taxicab suspected to have been used in a drive-by shooting minutes before shooting Rose in the back, arm and side of the face as he ran from a traffic stop. Rose had been riding in the front seat of the taxi when Zaijuan Hester, in the back seat, rolled down a window and shot at two men on the street.

Hester, 18, of Swissvale, pleaded guilty last week to aggravated assault and firearms violations for the earlier shooting, which wounded a man in the abdomen. Hester told a judge that he, not Rose, did the shooting.

Rosfeld told jurors that he thought Rose or another fleeing suspect had pointed a gun at him. Neither teen had a weapon on him at the time. The defense has asserted that Rose was complicit in the drive-by shooting by identifying the target to the gunman, Hester. Rose had an empty ammunition clip in his pants when he was killed, and two handguns were recovered from inside the vehicle.

"Michael Rosfeld didn't get up that morning and say, 'I'm going to kill someone,' but Antwon Rose and his accomplices did," Thomassey said in his closing argument, the station reports. "Can you say this wasn't justified beyond a reasonable doubt? There is only one verdict — not guilty."

antwon-rose-portrait.jpg
A memorial display for slain teen Antwon Rose featuring flowers sand his portrait was outside a Pennsylvania court Tuesday as the trial launched for the former officer charged in his death CBS Pittsburgh

A witness who testified Wednesday, neighbor John Leach, said he was standing on his front porch smoking when the shooting happened, reports CBS Pittsburgh. He said he saw Rosfeld fire three shots just as Rose turned and fled. Leach said he "couldn't believe his eyes." After the shooting, he was standing by Rose's body, watching Rosfeld on the sidewalk nearby saying repeatedly "I don't know why I shot him. I don't know why I fired."

There were audible gasps in the courtroom during the testimony, the station reports.

Speaking to the Associated Press before closing arguments got underway Friday, Rose family attorney S. Lee Merritt said the jury should conclude that Rose was "murdered."

Merritt says "it's pretty obvious" Rose was not a threat to Rosfeld.

Rose's mother sent a letter to prosecutors Wednesday urging them to counter the defense's portrayal of her son as "just another thug." In the letter, she asks prosecutors to paint a picture of her son as he truly was.

"He was a rose that grew from concrete. Despite darkness all around him, he was kind, loving and funny," she wrote in the letter dated Tuesday.

First published on March 22, 2019 / 6:24 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

rosfeld-rose-2.jpg antwon-rose-portrait.jpg

White ex-cop found not guilty in death of unarmed black teen

A prosecutor said former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld acted as "judge, jury and executioner" when he killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose II

5M ago

Mueller submits long-awaited report to attorney general

The special counsel has submitted his findings into potential ties between the Kremlin and Trump campaign

43M ago

"Dreamer" flight attendant released from ICE after "social media storm"

Selene Saavedra Roman was held in ICE custody for more than a month after she flew to Mexico as a flight attendant for Mesa Airlines

1H ago

A judge may soon block Trump's contested "Remain in Mexico" policy

A federal judge heard arguments Friday, and a decision on a preliminary injunction could come as soon as Monday.

1H ago

FEMA exposed info of 2.3 million disaster victims

The victims affected include survivors of Hurricanes Harvey​, Irma​ and Maria​ and the 2017 California wildfires

1H ago

Mueller submits long-awaited report to attorney general

The special counsel has submitted his findings into potential ties between the Kremlin and Trump campaign

43M ago

"Dreamer" flight attendant released from ICE after "social media storm"

Selene Saavedra Roman was held in ICE custody for more than a month after she flew to Mexico as a flight attendant for Mesa Airlines

1H ago

A judge may soon block Trump's contested "Remain in Mexico" policy

A federal judge heard arguments Friday, and a decision on a preliminary injunction could come as soon as Monday.

1H ago

FEMA exposed info of 2.3 million disaster victims

The victims affected include survivors of Hurricanes Harvey​, Irma​ and Maria​ and the 2017 California wildfires

1H ago

Here's who has been charged in Robert Mueller's probe

To date, the Mueller investigation has yielded charges against 34 individuals, and seven guilty pleas

2H ago

Here's who has been charged in Robert Mueller's probe

To date, the Mueller investigation has yielded charges against 34 individuals, and seven guilty pleas

2H ago

Inside Facebook, early concerns arose on Cambridge Analytica

More than a year before the presidential election, employees expressed concern about a political consulting company scraping data

6H ago

U.S. skater accused of slashing rival in warmups

International Skating Union says there is "no evidence" that American figure skater Mariah Bell intentionally harmed a South Korean rival

13H ago

Boeing to make standard a warning light that was not on doomed planes

The indicator light warns pilots of a malfunction that could cause its anti-stall system to activate unnecessarily

14H ago

2 U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan

Pentagon isn't saying who, how or where; their deaths are the 3rd and 4th of American service members in Afghanistan this year

16H ago

"Parks and Rec" cast reunites, teases possible return

The whole Pawnee gang got back together — and most of them are on board for a reboot

5H ago

"The Conners" renewed for Season 2 without Roseanne Barr

The Conners have proven they can thrive without Roseanne

6H ago

Damian Lewis talks "Billions": "The sheriff is now in cahoots with the cowboy"

For three seasons, Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti have faced off as each other's sworn enemies in the hit Showtime series

6H ago

Preview: Kathy Griffin on the anti-Trump stunt that nearly ended her career

The comedian tells "Sunday Morning" she "learned so much" from fallout that included death threats, job losses, and investigation by the feds

7H ago

Singer dies after accidental shooting with video prop

The 35-year-old singer from Texas leaves behind two daughters

10H ago

Google fined $1.7 billion by EU for blocking advertising rivals

The EU said its investigation found Google broke the EU's antitrust rules by imposing contractual restrictions on rivals

Mar 20

MySpace deletes 12 years' worth of music

Social network points to server issue in explaining why videos, audio files and other material is no longer on the site

Mar 19

Google to announce a new cloud-based gaming service

The search engine giant is expected to make its foray into online gaming during the 2019 Game Developers Conference

Mar 19

"Marine MacGyver" boot camp helps troops confront modern enemy

At a hands-on training course, U.S. Marine Corps is learning to use some of the same tools and technology the enemy does

Mar 19

Nunes sues Twitter and others for $250 million

Accuses the social media giant of defamation, negligence and "shadow banning" conservatives; Twitter has denied that in the past

Mar 19

Does Roundup cause cancer? Law says yes, science says maybe

Two juries have now ruled against the maker of the widely used weedkiller

5H ago

Tyson recalls frozen chicken strips that may contain metal

Two consumers had complained about finding "extraneous material" in the ready-to-eat chicken strips

13H ago

Kentucky governor exposed his kids to chickenpox

All nine of the governor's kids were "miserable for a few days" after contracting the virus, he said

21H ago

Addicted to fentanyl, one man tries to avoid becoming another "overdose statistic"

"I come from a good family. I work 40 to 50 hours a week," a young man named Jacob said

Mar 21

Baby cough syrup recalled for potential contamination

The medicine was sold at Dollar General stories nationwide

Mar 21

Pinterest IPO pins hopes on profits someday

The money-losing tech company said it believes its revenue will continue to grow, but profitability may be ellusive

4H ago

GM says it will invest $300 million in its Orion plant after Trump criticism

The investment comes after President Trump criticized the automaker's closure of its Lordstown, Ohio plant

5H ago

Chick-fil-A barred from Texas airport as "anti-LGBTQ"

Fast-food chain under fire for giving more than $1.8 million to three groups that oppose LGBTQ rights

5H ago

Does Roundup cause cancer? Law says yes, science says maybe

Two juries have now ruled against the maker of the widely used weedkiller

5H ago

IRS again lowers penalty threshold for underpaying taxes after outcry

The measure comes amid taxpayer concerns about misjudging payments following the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

6H ago

White ex-cop found not guilty in death of unarmed black teen

A prosecutor said former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld acted as "judge, jury and executioner" when he killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose II

5M ago

N.Y. woman accused of stealing $410K from police charity

A volunteer treasurer allegedly used the money to pay for dental expenses, landscaping services, parking and traffic tickets and even Barbara Streisand concert tickets

3H ago

Teen charged with racist school threats in Charlottesville

17-year-old boy is accused of making racist threats that closed schools in Charlottesville, Virginia, for two days

8H ago

Man accused of keeping 7 live sharks in pool at his home

Joshua Seguine allegedly offered sharks for sale as recently as June 29, 2017 on the website MonsterFishKeepers.com

8H ago

Kevin Durant plays with "heavy heart" hours after close friend killed

Durant led a balanced Warriors attack, playing the same day childhood friend Cliff Dixon was shot to death in Atlanta

13H ago  Original Article

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here