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Former East Pittsburgh Officer Found Not Guilty In Shooting Death of Unarmed Teen Antwon Rose

A jury found former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld not guilty of all charges in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose on Friday. 

The family of Rose left the courthouse where demonstrators gathered outside after the verdict came in. 

The June 19th shooting sparked mass outrage and protests as the public questioned the police departments use of deadly force against the unarmed youth. 

Rose was fatally shot three times after he ran during a traffic stop. The video was captured and posted on Facebook by a witness on the scene. 

The former officer Michael Rosfeld, 30 who is white shot at Rose, a young black man, as he fled. Those details heightened racial tensions throughout the city. 

According to CNN, Rosfeld was charged with one criminal homicide charge, and the jury was instructed to consider first-degree murder, third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, he could’ve faced a sentence of life in prison- but instead, he was found not guilty on all charges. 

“While the family of Antwon Rose is devastated that former officer Michael Rosfeld was acquitted today, they are grateful for the support of the community and from many around the country,” said S. Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Rose family, in a statement. 

“Antwon Rose was shot in his back, which killed him. He was unarmed, and he did not pose a threat to the officer or to the community, and the verdict today says that is OK, that is acceptable behavior from a police officer.”

After hearing almost four days of testimony, the jury deliberated for four hours and came back with their verdict. 

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. released a statement on the verdict.

“While I respectfully disagree with their verdict, it is the people of this commonwealth who decide guilty or not guilty, and they have spoken to this matter,” the statement said. “In the interest of justice, we must continue to do our job of bringing charges in situations where charges are appropriate, regardless of the role an individual holds in the community.”

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