Story by Haley Frederick
Photos by Jake Mysliwczyk
Michael Rosfeld, the East Pittsburgh police officer who shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Antwon Rose II three times, including shots to the back, as he ran from a traffic stop on June 18, was found not guilty of Rose’s murder March 22. Since then, protesters have taken to the streets Downtown, in East Liberty, Oakland, and even Philadelphia.
The latest show of support in seeking justice for Antwon Rose II came today from students across Pittsburgh, who organized a walkout. Photos promoting the walkout shared around social media said that students should leave school and meet Downtown at the County Courthouse at noon. An activist group called Youth Power Collective lead the event. A Facebook event page said that Pittsburgh high school and college students organized the walkout together.
On Sunday, Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet said in a statement that district schools would allow students to leave if they had permission from their parents and followed the appropriate procedures. However students without parental permission would receive unexcused absences.
“We understand that many students will want to support those fighting for Justice for Antwon,” Hamlet said. “We respect the right of all students to lawfully and peacefully protest, and we take seriously our responsibility to keep all students safe and secure.”
The rainy weather did not keep students from showing up to march through Downtown in support of justice for Antwon Rose II on Monday. At the height of the protest, more than a thousand students and supporters were gathered together.
Marchers chanted, “What’s his name? Antwon Rose II. How old was he? 17.”
“Hands up, don’t shoot,” they repeated.
Students from Youth Power Collective lead the crowds with megaphones, giving directions and starting chants.
The marchers arrived in front of Allegheny County Jail. People inside flicked lights on and off to interact with the protesters outside.
Protesters held up their fists, as well as carnations, umbrellas, and posters that became waterlogged during the rainy march.
Marchers join arms in solidarity.