Family of Antwon Rose ‘optimistic’ after police officer charged with criminal homicide
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The family of Antwon Rose II say they are “cautiously optimistic” after East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld was arrested and charged with criminal homicide in the fatal shooting death of the teen.
“The family is holding out for a conviction and proper sentencing,” said Lee Merritt, one of the Rose family attorneys.
—UPDATED: Criminal homicide charge filed against police officer who killed Antwon Rose—
CBS News reports that Merritt was flanked by Rose’s parents and other family members on Wednesday as they stood in solidarity at a press conference wearing “Justice for Antwon Rose” shirts.
“That is a very, very difficult thing to come by, not only in Allegheny County, but in the United States.”
The family and their legal counsel are preparing for a legal battle against the police officer who shot Rose three times — once in the face, once in the elbow and again a fatal blow in the back, as he ran from police last week.
Rosfeld was arrested but released on an unsecured $250,000 bond which had made the Rose family and their attorney uneasy.
“He will go home without paying a dollar out of his pocket, without putting property up, just by signing his name,” Rose family attorney Fred Rabner said.
“When you have murder one, to have no bail, you have put up no property, to offer no cash … it’s very, very unique and it shows a system that is bent in favor of law enforcement,” Merritt said.
“I think what you’re going to learn about Officer Rosfeld through the exposure of his prior behavior, his prior actions while with other law enforcement agencies, his prior egregious behavior, you’re going to not believe really a word that you hear from Officer Rosfeld. You’re going to see that not only was he a violent person, but he had a violence toward a certain type of person. Not only that, he had a habit of falsifying things in his reports,” Rabner said.
DC official blasts police for stopping and frisking Black men
District Attorney Stephen Zappala criticized Rosfeld’s release on unsecured bond. Zappala was also vocal in saying Rosfeld’s shooting of Rose was both “intentional” and went against normal procedure by not waiting for backup when there were three people in the car.
“He was not acting to prevent death and serious injury,” said Zappala during a press conference. “You do not shoot someone in the back if they are not a threat to you.”
Officer Rosfeld was only sworn in an hour before the fatal shooting.