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Pennsylvania jury clears white cop in fatal shooting of black teen; defense attorney’s office struck by bullets

East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld (right) was charged with one count of criminal homicide in the shooting death of the 17-year-old Antwon Rose, Jr.
(AP)

A former Pittsburgh-area white police officer on trial for fatal shooting of a black teenager fleeing from a traffic stop was Friday acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges.

An Alleghany County Court jury found the former East Pittsburgh officer Michael Rosfeld was justified when he killed the 17-year-old Antwon ran last June after less than four hours of deliberation in a four-day trial.

Hours after the verdict, two shots were fired in the office of Rosfeld attorney Pat Thomassey in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, WTAE-TV reported. Police arrived Saturday morning to investigate the incident that happened around 12:30 a.m., according to Thomassey.

Earlier, Rose’s mother, Michelle Kenney, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “I hope that man [Rosfeld] never sleeps at night. I hope he gets as much sleep as I do, that is nothing.”

EX-AGENT SAYS HE THOUGHT HE SAW A GUN WHEN HE SHOT BLACK TEEN

Kenney said that she was angry but unsurprised by the verdict, given the other cases in which police officers have avoided costs, or won acquittals in similar recordings.

“It’s not what I was hoping, but it is what I expected,” she said, adding she feels that her son will eventually die because he was black.

Supporters of Antwon Rose II, standing on the steps of the Allegheny County Courthouse after hearing the verdict of not guilty on all charges for Michael Rosfeld, a former police officer in East Pittsburgh, Pa., Friday, March 22, 2019.
(AP)

The high-profile deaths of black men and teenagers by white police officers in the united states in recent years has become a flash point in the inflaming of racial tensions.

The decision led to small demonstrations in downtown Pittsburgh, where the case was tried. Pittsburgh police tweeted that the “peaceful demonstration” resulted in a rolling, temporary road closures.

Rose had ridden in the passenger seat of the cab with another resident, Zaijuan Hester, in the back, a window rolled down and shot at two people on the street, hitting one in the abdomen. A few minutes later, Rosfeld spotted their car, which had its rear window shot out, and pulled it on. Rosfeld ordered the driver on the ground, but Rose and another passenger jumped onto the ground and started to walk away. Rosfeld, sworn in just hours before the fatal shooting after only a few weeks on the job, fired three times in quick succession.

WITNESS SAYS OFFICER QUESTIONED THE TEENAGER ACTIONS IN SHOOTING

Rose was struck three times in the back, arm and side, the jury was told.

Hester, 18, pleaded guilty last week to aggravated assault and firearms violations, and gave the shooter.

The former officer told jurors that he thought that Rose or any other suspect had a gun on him, insisting he fired his weapon to protect himself and the community. Neither was armed.

Former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld earlier this month.
(AP)

Two guns were found in the car.

A defence expert told the jury, which consisted of three black members of the jury, that Rosfeld was justified in the use of lethal force to stop suspects he thought had been involved in a shooting.

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Rose’s mother has filed a federal lawsuit that accuses Rosfeld and the small city of East Pittsburgh, from violating the toe of the civil rights.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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