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The East Pittsburgh Police Department will be dissolved and the Pennsylvania State Police will instead take up its patrols, it announced in a statement on Monday.
The police department has come under intense scrutiny after the killing of unarmed 17-year-old Antwon Rose.
Residents were alerted of the change of guard through a letter, Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 learned.
Rose was shot and killed by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld. Rosfeld, who was charged with criminal homicide, is due to stand trial February 26, but his attorney Patrick Thomassey wants the trial to move to a different county and the jury be picked from a different county. Rosfeld remains free on $250,000 unsecured bond.
In August, Rose’s family filed a federal lawsuit against East Pittsburgh, Rosfeld, Mayor Louis Payne and Police Chief Lori Fruncek, alleging wrongful death.
Fred Rabner, an attorney for Rose’s family, has questions about the department’s closing and wants them answered before the department fully shuts down.
“For the lawsuit, we wanted to know if they were running into problems before with proper training of officials, we wanted to know whether or not they were having problems with vetting individuals, we want to know if they had complaints about numerous officers, so we’re going to want to know everything there is to know about the shutdown,” Rabner said.
The criminal homicide case has resulted in dozens of protests across the city after Rose was shot three times and killed while running away from a vehicle that Rosfeld had pulled over.