Democratic state lawmakers in Pennsylvania have called for statewide reforms of law enforcement in response to the fatal police shooting of Antwon Rose II.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the state legislature is planning to introduce several bills that will call for the creation of a statewide database to track police officer misconduct, a uniform use-of-force policy for all departments, and additional cultural awareness training for officers, among other reforms.
“We are not here to point fingers at anybody,” State Rep. Ed Gainey said on Thursday. “We are here to save a life.”
The lawmakers said that Rose’s death was the impetus for the legislative push.
Rose, 17, was killed by East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld, who had been sworn in as an officer just a few hours before fatally shooting Antwon Rose on June 19.
Police stopped a vehicle believing it had been recently been involved in a drive-by shooting. Rose was shot three times as he fled including once in the face, once in his arm, and once in the back.
Rose was unarmed when shot, and later died at a local hospital. The Post-Gazette published video footage showing that Rose was actually the passenger in the car during the police drive-by shooting, and that Rose was not the shooter.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at Rose’s funeral to say their final goodbyes. People remarked throughout the service using words like “bright, charming and generous” to describe the young man.
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“Antwon’s death shakes my heart, it rattles my faith that things will ever get better or that the injustice will ever end,” said Gisele Barreto Fetterman, who met Antwon when he volunteered at the Free Store, a charity she founded. “Slowly, too slowly, things will get brighter, even though they’re now so dark.”
Some of the proposed bills are expected to be introduced before the end of this year’s session, state Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa said during a news conference Thursday at the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh.
Costa also said they plan to include a bill introduced last year by State Sen. Art Haywood that would require all fatal officer-involved shootings be investigated by a special prosecutor appointed by the Attorney General.