Jury Clears Pennsylvania Police Officer of Murder in Antwon Rose Shooting

Supporters of Antwon Rose II after hearing the verdict on Friday

Supporters of Antwon Rose II after hearing the verdict on Friday

Gunshots were fired into the law office of former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld's attorney, hours after Rosfeld was acquitted of shooting an unarmed black teenager a year ago.

Protesters marched through parts of Pittsburgh after the verdict, but the mayor's office says they have no reports of arrests or property damage.

On Saturday, Pittsburgh was bracing for more protests. For just under an hour and a half, the former officer told the jury that he thought Antwon or Hester had pointed a weapon at him.

Police said after Rosfeld pulled the vehicle over and ordered the driver out of the auto and onto the ground, Rose and another passenger ran, which is when the officer opened fire, striking the teenager. Rose was riding in an unlicensed taxi that was involved in a drive-by shooting. Rosfeld walked out of the courtroom a free man Friday after jurors rejected a prosecutor's argument that he acted as Rose's "judge, jury and executioner".

Though unbeknownst to Rosfeld when he fatally shot Rose, police later found two stolen guns in the vehicle, traces of gun residue on Antwon Rose's hand and the empty clip of a handgun in his trousers pocket, according to court records.

Thomassey, the defense lawyer, told reporters that Rosfeld is "a good man. I was doing what I was trained to do'".

Thomassey said he hoped the city remained calm, and "everybody takes a deep breath and gets on with their lives".

Rosfeld followed proper procedure that day, according to defense witness Clifford W. Jobe Jr., a retired state trooper and use-of-force expert.

Prosecutor Jonathan Fodi argued that Rosfeld had acted as "judge, jury and executioner" and that the video evidence showed "there was no threat" to the officer. But another prosecution witness said he heard the officer ask, "Why did he do that?"

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Pennsylvania law gives a law enforcement officer wide leeway in such incidents, allowing police to use deadly force if the officer believes the suspect is fleeing and is a threat to himself and others.

"It happened very quickly", Rosfeld said.

Rose had been riding in the front seat of the cab when Hester, in the backseat, rolled down a window and shot at two men on the street, hitting one in the abdomen.

"I'm not going to wait to be attacked", Rosfeld said on the stand when pressed by prosecutor Dan Fitzsimmons on why he didn't wait in his police vehicle until other officers arrived on the scene.

"He's a sitting duck", Thomassey told jurors in his closing argument, asking them to consider "the standard of what a reasonable police officer would do under the circumstances".

Hester, 18, pleaded guilty last week to aggravated assault and firearms violations.

Fitzsimmons also pressed Rosfeld on what exactly he knew about the drive-by shooting in the moments leading up to when he shot Rose.

Rosfeld was found not guilty on first-degree and third-degree murder charges as well as voluntary and involuntary manslaughter charges.

Similar fundraisers were set up to help Antwon Rose II's family following the shooting, but those have now been taken down.

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