Protesters halt traffic over fatal cop shooting of teen
Pittsburgh – Dozens of protesters returned to the streets of downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday, blocking traffic with locked arms and raised fists, demanding justice in the police killing of 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr.
Chanting, “Who did this? The police did this!” and “Three shots to the back, how do you justify that?” marchers began walking several blocks shortly after 7:30 a.m., shutting down busy intersections for more than two hours.
The crowd made stops at the county and city courthouses, pausing regularly to recall the slain black teen in moments of silence.
Wearing a black T-shirt with the word “ENDANGERED” printed in red, white and blue, protest leader Nicki Jo Dawson told the crowd: “This isn’t something to do for fun.”
“This isn’t a hobby,” Dawson said. “We do this to get justice we’ve never seen. In this courthouse there’s a man who refuses to indict an (officer) for killing one of our children. Not today.”
Some passers-by raised their fists in solidarity, while others –including several commuters– shouted and honked in frustration. Pittsburgh police flanked the protester route.
Christian Carter, a friend of Rose’s, read the 2016 poem Rose wrote, “I Am Not What You Think,” in which he discussed not wanting his mother to lose him to violence and not wanting to become a statistic.
Rose was killed last Tuesday after police stopped a car officials say matched a vehicle wanted in a shooting in a nearby town. He was running when he was shot.
In the days since Rose was fatally shot by a white police officer on June 19, marchers have demonstrated almost daily. They refrained from protest on Monday, as Rose was laid to rest, out of respect for his family.
On Tuesday, they renewed their call for Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala to prosecute Officer Michael Rosefeld in Rose’s death. Zappala has said he wanted to delay publicly discussing the investigation until after Rose’s funeral, but it is unclear when he will do so.