Pittsburgh protesters block streets to demand indictment in death of Antwon Rose Jr.

Last week Pittsburgh police shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. when he tried to flee the scene of a traffic stop that followed an apparent drive-by shooting. Protesters in Pittsburgh have been taking to the streets for several days, demanding the officer responsible be charged. Today about 100 protesters once again blocked traffic and marched to the District Attorney’s office. From the Associated Press:


Chanting, “Who did this? The police did this!” and “Three shots to the back, how do you justify that?” marchers began walking several blocks shortly after 7:30 a.m., shutting down busy intersections for more than two hours…

Wearing a black T-shirt with the word “ENDANGERED” printed in red, white and blue, protest leader Nicki Jo Dawson told the crowd: “This isn’t something to do for fun.”

“This isn’t a hobby,” Dawson said. “We do this to get justice we’ve never seen. In this courthouse there’s a man who refuses to indict an (officer) for killing one of our children. Not today.”

Here’s a bit of what that looked like:

Police have released some information about what led up to the shooting. Here’s how PBS describes what authorities are saying at this point:

Allegheny County police received multiple 911 calls of a shooting around 8:20 p.m. ET Tuesday, the department said in its initial statement on Facebook. Responding officers found a wounded 22-year-old male who was subsequently transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Witnesses who reported the incident provided a description of a car that was seen fleeing the scene of the shooting: a silver Chevrolet Cruze that also had “ballistics damage to the rear window.” About 13 minutes later, an East Pittsburgh officer flagged a vehicle that matched the description of the car and stopped it.

The officer handcuffed the driver, while two passengers who were also in the vehicle ran away, police said. That’s when an officer shot and killed the teen who was later identified as Rose. He was declared dead at a local hospital. On Friday, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala confirmed that police found an empty gun clip on Rose…

In a news conference the following day, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough confirmed that Rose was unarmed when he “bolted” from the scene. Two firearms were recovered from the floor of the car, McDonough said.


Police say they are confident that the car which was stopped is the one involved in the shooting of the 22-year-old. The two guns in the back of the car strongly suggest the two men who ran, one of whom was Rose, were involved in the previous shooting. In fact, the other suspect who has been at large was finally arrested last night:

Zaijuan Hester, 17, was arrested around 11:30 p.m. Monday on another charge in the Hill District.

Police say that Hester will be charged Tuesday in connection with the drive-by shooting that occurred earlier in North Braddock.

While police did confirm to KDKA’s Andy Sheehan that Hester will be charged in connection with the drive-by shooting in North Braddock, they will not confirm if he will be charged with doing the actual shooting.

Police are allowed to shoot fleeing suspects in some cases as a last resort, i.e. when a felony has been committed and police believe the suspects are a danger to the police or to others. It’s not clear that’s what happened here but given the connection to the previous drive-by shooting, at least some of those elements appear to be present.

Pittsburgh police have previously denied false reports that a video existed which showed Rose firing a gun during a drive-by shooting and that he had gunshot residue on his hands. Police said last week that no such video existed and that lab reports had not been returned yet. So at this moment, we still don’t know for certain that Rose ever fired a gun.

This ABC News report contains video of the traffic stop when Rose and Hester ran and police fired on them.


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