Three hours on the job in East Pittsburgh, Penn., and a white officer’s first response is to shoot multiple rounds into unarmed Antwon Rose, a Black 17-year-old, running away. The officer didn’t run after the teen or Tase him, but instead cuffed an almost lifeless body. Rose died on the way to the hospital.
While police departments, in response to the continued outrage over shootings of unarmed Blacks, have increased the usage of cameras, there were no body cams or dash cams here. But Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough urged an outraged community to give them time to investigate. Meanwhile, the 30-year-old officer is on paid leave.
The Facebook live video captured the horrific scene, and while police cameras were absent, a study shows that body cams don’t seem to alter the responses of police officers.
Watch the video here:
Yesterday in my city of Pittsburgh, Police shot and killed an unarmed teenager after he took off running away from them. This video is so sad to watch and is hurting my city so bad. His name was
#AntwonRose 17 years old. pic.twitter.com/0eZCHrip6a
Jung Phil (@JungPhilMusic)
June 20, 2018
Officers “seem to have disregarded the basic humanity of this boy when they chose to use lethal force,” Reggie Shuford, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, told the Post-Gazette.
The use of excessive and lethal force against the Black community has long been questioned.
The police response here shows a stark difference from the Texas white teen who drove erratically down the highway in a stolen school bus back in March. Police chased him in their vehicles, and while they drew their guns once the teen stopped the bus, they did not shoot him, but instead arrested him. Or the Sante Fe, Texas, white teen who shot up a school last month, killing 10 and wounding 10 including a police officer, and was taken into custody.
Police response around this incident continues to be questioned. A rally took place in the middle of the street outside the police station the day after Rose’s death, and on Twitter’s #AntwonRose, one of the protestors was shown calling out a white officer for keeping his hand on his weapon during the rally. Another post shows a police cruiser pushing right through the protest crowd:
Leonard Hammonds II was angry that an officer had his hand on a weapon during a rally to protest last night’s shooting death of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh police. @PittsburghPG @PGVisuals pic.twitter.com/bh5ZnXuFAu
Steve Mellon (@stevemellon412) June 21, 2018
A Police Cruiser attempts to push through the crowd as a rally shuts down Braddock Avenue a day after an East Hills Police Officer shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student during a traffic stop. @TribLIVE #AntwonRose pic.twitter.com/hJsCyUeJcP
Andrew Russell (@RussBurgh) June 20, 2018
Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh, who originally tweeted to social justice advocate Shaun King about a clarification of jurisdiction concerned where the police shooting happened, apologized for his lack of empathy and said: “Any loss of life is tragic, and especially the loss of life of a child. This is a devastating situation, and I am saddened for the victim and his family.”
The family said in a statement that they know Rose was not armed nor did he pose a threat to anyone. Rose was a student at Woodland Hills High School and a volunteer in the community. The school’s Students Against Gun Violence group has started a GoFundMe account to help Rose’s family with funeral costs.