More than 1,000 high school and college students braved the cold, rainy weather on Monday to participate in a rally at the City-County Building in downtown Pittsburgh to protest last week’s acquittal of ex-cop, Michael Rosfeld, in the killing of Black teenager, Antwon Rose II.
The students, many of whom skipped school to protest, marched down to the downtown area, and once there they got into a circle to chant “Black Lives Matter,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Protestors caused many streets in downtown Pittsburgh to shut down.
On Friday, jurors found Rosfeld not guilty in Rose’s shooting. The teenager was a passenger in an unlicensed taxi that was reportedly involved in a drive-by shooting when Rosfeld reportedly pulled the car over. As Rose attempted to flee, Rosfeld shot him several times in the back and other areas, according to reports.
After the verdict, Rose’s mother, Michelle Kenney had words for her son’s killer: “I hope that man never sleeps at night,” Kenney said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I hope he gets as much sleep as I do, which is none.”
At Monday’s rally, Aiden Annegarn, 18, said he decided to march because the killing was “unjust,” according to the Post-Gazette.
Many protestors were vocally upset with District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.
“How many of you are registered to vote?” one protestor asked to a cheering crowd, reported the Post-Gazette. “Hey hey, ho ho, Stephen Zappala has got to go” and “Vote him out.”
Rebecca Rovins, who helped to organize the protest march, released a statement prior to the rally. “It is only through solidarity between students and teachers, youth and workers, and through uniting the struggles of all oppressed people that we can build a movement to build a better Pittsburgh and a better world free of racism, white supremacy, and all violence and injustice,” the statement read.