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PITTSBURGH – Community activists are calling for change in the wake of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose.
Tim Stevens, of the Black Political Empowerment Project, believes the Attorney General’s Office should handle the investigation instead of the Allegheny County district attorney.
“The Black Political Empowerment Project has worked on and advocated for what we call the Due Process Act, which would put all police-involved and deadly shootings in the hands of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office, which we feel would bring about a more objective pursuit of justice,” Stevens said.
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B-PEP says something has to give.
“There have been far too many shootings and killings of unarmed citizens — most often young black males — throughout western Pennsylvania and indeed throughout the nation. The community demands justice now and will settle for nothing less. We cannot see how the death of Antwon Rose can be justified,” Stevens said.
B-PEP is also is pressing for a county-wide citizen police review board like the one in the City of Pittsburgh.
“The members of the independent Citizens Police Review Board in the City of Pittsburgh are ready, willing and able to assist any municipality that has an interest in having and impartial and objective look at their department’s operating procedures, their protocols, and unfortunately incidents of a critical nature such as we saw in East Pittsburgh the other night,” Beth Pittinger, of the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board, said.
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Sharon McIntosh conducted two anti-violence training sessions at Woodland Hills, where Rose was a student.
“We need to make change — and change only comes through the legal realms and through our voting rights. So we are going to exercise those rights,” McIntosh said.
Because B-PEP says something has to change.
“This has become a too common occurrence in this country, that our lives do not matter, that our lives are taken and turned into a 15-second spot on the news — and then a week later we go on business as usual,” B-PEP’s Will Anderson said.
Rose was shot and killed by an East Pittsburgh police officer as he attempted to flee from a traffic stop. He was unarmed.
He was a passenger in a car that matched the description of one that fled a shooting scene in North Braddock.
Police say they found two guns inside the car.
The police officer had been sworn into duty just hours before the shooting. That officer has now been placed on administrative leave.