March 25, 2019
Dear Friends in Christ,
Late Friday night, a jury acquitted former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld of all charges related to his killing of 17-year old Antwon Rose II last summer. Antwon Rose was shot by Officer Rosfeld in the back while attempting to flee. He was found to be unarmed.
Many in our region are frustrated and despondent over this verdict. I am aware that others believe justice was served, given the law as it stands.
Yet, surely, none of us can ignore what the killing of one more unarmed black man by a white police officer says about our ailing society. The incident evokes the memory of many others nationwide that have been documented in recent years. From the moment the trigger was pulled, to the moment of acquittal, we have been on the familiar road of a national agony: a young, relatively inexperienced white officer; a young black man with apparently little reason to believe the police would not harm him if he gave himself up; a state law riddled with implicit bias; and a local jury that could only apply the law.