Jurors took only approximately three hours before returning an acquittal for former Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld, 30, for the June 2018 shooting death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose II.
Rosfeld shot Antwon three times, in his arm, back, and face, as the teen allegedly fled after Rosfeld pulled over the vehicle in which he was an unarmed passenger. The vehicle was allegedly suspected in a drive-by shooting.
Pittsburgh Action News reports that Rosfeld faced the following possible verdicts:
- Not guilty
- Guilty of first degree murder
- Guilty of third degree murder
- Guilty of voluntary manslaughter
- Guilty of involuntary manslaughter
Rosfeld’s attorney, Patrick Thomassey, argued that charging Rosfeld with murdering a child that he shot in the face and back was unfair.
“What we have is a police officer doing his duty. There’s not a hardness of heart required for first- or third-degree murder,” Thomassey said. “We have a burst of three shots in one second on a fleeing felon and we’re going to charge him with murder? It’s not fair.”
According to witness John Leach, Rosfeld opened fire on Antwon just as the teen turned to run. According to Leach, the officer cried, “Why did I shoot? Why did I fire?” Conflicting reports quote Leach as saying Rosfeld said, “I don’t know why I shot him. I don’t know why I fired.”
The Pittsburgh community, who has consistently fought for justice for Antwon Rose, is already activating in protest of the verdict.