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DEBBIE NORRELL

It’s Thursday night, June 21, and my phone starts to ping time and time again. What’s going on? It seems like a portion of the Parkway East has been closed by people protesting the recent shooting of Antwon Rose II. The news feeds are going wild. There is support for the protest from as far away as Los Angeles. People are weighing in on both sides. I can actually watch what is happening live on Facebook. Some have elected to place lawn chairs in the middle of the parkway.

Reportedly it started in East Pittsburgh, the location of the police station where the police officer who shot Rose was employed. Then around 8 p.m. the crowd marched from the station towards the Parkway East and were 100 strong. They were asked to disperse but stayed put until about 2 in the morning. Traffic was disrupted and backed up for miles. Many cannot understand, why a protest on the Parkway East? Some feel the protest should have stayed at the police station. To me that sounded like a good idea. With the parkway shut down in both directions, people were trapped on the parkway for hours trying to get home, trying to make deliveries and trying to live their life.

There it is, trying to live their life…a life Rose can no longer live.

One of the protesters asked to speak to the news media was asked why block the parkway. The reply? “Getting in the way draws attention to the situation.” I think one Facebook post summed it up perfectly. “So it’s easy for y’all to think it’s OK that cops shoot unarmed people out of fear, but hard for y’all to believe he ran out of fear?”

The police officer that shot Rose as he was fleeing from the stopped vehicle had just been sworn in by East Pittsburgh a few hours before the fatal shooting. Reportedly Officer Michael Rosfeld had been an officer in Allegheny County since 2011 and had previously worked in Harmarville, Oakmont and the University of Pittsburgh. Allegedly he had been fired from some of his previous positions.

Rose was a passenger in a car that had been pulled over because it matched the description of a vehicle that had fled a shooting that resulted in a 22-year-old man’s injury, said the Allegheny County Police Department. Officers stopped the vehicle and took the driver into custody. However, as the driver was being handcuffed, two of the passengers fled—one of which was Antwon. That was when he was shot three times. There is video of the shooting that’s been viewed nationwide.

According to Tennessee v. Garner 471 U.S (1985), a civil case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that, under the fourth Amendment, when a law enforcement officer is pursuing a fleeing suspect, “the officer may not use deadly force to prevent escape unless the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significate threat of death or serious injury to the officer or others.”

Rose was unarmed. I think protesting is the answer.

(Email Debbie at debbienorrell@aol.com.)

 

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Is protesting the answer? (June 27) was originally published on newpittsburghcourieronline.com

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