A woman who does not want to be identified has a memorial display with a picture of Antwon Rose II on the front of the court house on the first day of the trial for Michael Rosfeld, a former police officer in East Pittsburgh, Pa., starts on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in Pittsburgh. Rosfeld is charged with criminal homicide in the fatal shooting of Antwon Rose II as he fled during a traffic stop on June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
PITTSBURGH – the Video showed a white policeman shooting to death an unarmed black teenager, was played for the jurors as the ex-agent with the criminal murder trial progressed.
A second day of testimony is scheduled for Wednesday as the trial of former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld cv’s in a Pittsburgh courtroom.
Rosfeld, 30, is facing a charge of criminal homicide for the June death of 17-year-old high school student Antwon Rose, II.
Rosfeld fired three bullets into the target after pulling over an illegal taxi suspected to have been used in a drive-by shooting minutes earlier. Rose was a front seat passenger in the cab, and was shot as he fled.
A neighbor that are included in the confrontation, said the tone of Rosfeld’s voice is what got her attention.
“That kind of sound frightened me in myself. It was a wicked show. He was angry at something or someone,” Lashaun Livingston told jurors as testimony began Tuesday.
A lawyer said that He was 60 yards (55 metres) of the hotel at the time.
A prosecutor urged jurors to focus on Rosfeld frame of mind when he shot and killed Rose.
The prosecutors said Rosfeld gave inconsistent statements about the shooting, including whether he thought that Rose had a gun.
“What’s really important is, is what Michael Rosfeld knew and what he believed, and what he was thinking when he pulled the trigger,” Deputy district Attorney Daniel Fitzsimmons told jurors in his opening statement.
Attorney Patrick Thomassey said Rosfeld not going to shoot anyone that day and did nothing wrong in his fatal encounter with Rose.
“You think Michael Rosfeld came on 19 June, and thought that he was going to shoot someone? Of course not,” he said.
The video of the recording was posted online, which led to protests in the Pittsburgh area last year, including a late-night march that shut down a major highway.
A jury of six men and six women, including three African-Americans, was selected in the entire country in Harrisburg last week and will be sequestered in a Pittsburgh hotel for the duration of the trial, is expected to take a week or more.
Debra Jones testified that had she sits on her porch when she saw Rosfeld shoot Rose only a few meters away.
Rosfeld had thrown the car’s driver on the ground and ordered Rose and the vehicle of the other occupant, Zaijuan Hester, to get out, Jones said. Both fled, and Jones said she heard three shots. Jones said she then went to the house of a neighbor, emerging 20 minutes later to see Rose lying face down and in handcuffs, and Rosfeld on the side with the other officers.
“He was red. He was very angry. He was crying,” Jones said.
On cross-examination, Thomassey, the attorney, said Jones gave a video statement to the police approximately a month after the shooting in which she said Rose and Hester had made movements with their hands. Jones denied it, insisting she said that Rosfeld had told them to get out with their hands up.
The families of Rose and Rosfeld were in the courtroom Tuesday.
“Antwon, the family is here looking for the justice that they so deserve and to ensure that the light of Antwon memory is always shining,” said a statement issued on Tuesday by the family’s lawyer, Fred Rabner, who represents them in a wrongful death suit against Rosfeld, the municipality and the mayor and the chief of police.
The family statement called Rosfeld “hair-triggered” and “overly aggressive,” adding that his gun had “left an irreparable hole in their collective souls.”
Rose had ridden in the front seat of an illegal taxi when Hester, on the back seat, a window rolled down and shot at two people in the streets of North Braddock.
Hester, 18, of Swissvale, pleaded guilty Friday to aggravated assault and firearms violations for the shooting, in which a man wounded in the abdomen. Hester told a judge that he is not Rose, so did the shooting. A judge ruled Monday that the jury could hear evidence of that shooting, but will probably not hear about a robbery that took place a few hours earlier.
The police Sgt. Brian Hodges of North Braddock testified that he and Rosfeld responded to the drive-in, and that Rosfeld went on a search for the car spotted leaving the scene. A short time later, Rosfeld pulled it on.
While Rose ran from the vehicle, Rosfeld shot him three times — in the right side of his face, his elbow in his back — one of the bullets tearing through his heart and lungs.