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PA Reps Summer Lee, Ed Gainey Introduce Bill To Limit Police Use Of Deadly Force

State Rep. Summer Lee stands with supporters of Antwon Rose II on the steps of the Allegheny County Courthouse following the acquittal of former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld (Current Photo: Jake Mysliwczyk)

By Annabelle Hanflig
Pittsburgh Current Intern

Pennsylvania state Rep. Summer Lee announced today that she and state Rep. Ed Gainey will be introducing a bill to limit when police officers can use deadly force. 

The proclamation, announced on Lee’s personal Twitter account, comes not only on Juneteenth, a commemoration of the emancipation of African Americans from slavery but on the one-year anniversary of the death of Antwon Rose II. She explained that the bill would “allow police to use deadly force ONLY in those situations where they or another face imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.”

As it stands now, a law enforcement officer in the state of Pennsylvania is justified in using deadly force to “prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself or such other person.”

An officer may also employ such force when they believe it to be necessary to “prevent an arrest from being defeated by resistance or escape” and when the suspect has “committed or attempted a forcible felony or is attempting to escape” while in possession of a deadly weapon, or the officer has reason to believe the apprehended suspect will be an immediate danger to themselves or others.

Rose was killed just shy of his 18th birthday after he was shot in the back three times by former-East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld. Rose was unarmed at the time and had fled from a car that Rosfeld had pulled over on suspicions of its involvement in a drive-by shooting minutes earlier. Rose was not the shooter and another person has pled guilty to the crime. A jury acquitted Rosfeld of all charges and sent the city into days of protests.

We will have more on this story as it develops

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