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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Protesters gathered outside of the Allegheny County Courthouse Thursday afternoon in response to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose.
There were speakers and chants for two hours. Traffic came to a standstill in front of the Allegheny County Courthouse. One block of Grant Street was packed with people.
Rose was shot and killed by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld as he tried to run away from a traffic stop. He was unarmed.
Ayodeji Young spoke to the crowd from the steps of the courthouse.
“I’m telling you right now to your face, what you saw was a murder,” he said. “Let’s not mince words. Let’s not confuse things. What you saw was an execution.”
Others who spoke at the protest rally included Leon Ford, who was shot by police five times back in November 2012 as he tried to drive away from police. He is now in a wheelchair.
“I ain’t never cried publicly before. We can’t afford not to step up and we can’t afford not to show up,” he said.
One of the most compelling speakers was Christian Carter, himself a teenager, who read a poem that was written by Antwon two years ago.
“I think one of the most touching lines in his poem was when he said, ‘I don’t want my mother to feel that pain,'” Carter said. “You feel that pain right in that moment, real and true.”
The crowd represented various ethnic, economic and age groups, and each had their own reason for being there, like Mel Packer, a white man from Point Breeze.
“I’m here to avenge the death of Antwon Rose. This would not have happened in Point Breeze,” Packer said. “Antwon was killed because he was young and because he is black.”
Jessica Ruffin, a black woman from Beltzhoover, says she came to the rally because she is human.
“Just want to watch this senseless tragedy and know it’s happening over and over again,” she said. “Need to pay close attention to murders happening in our communities.”
The crowd chanted, “Say his name! Antwon! Antwon! Antwon!”
- Lawyer: Antwon Rose Didn’t Pose An Immediate Threat To East Pittsburgh Police Officer
- READ: Antwon Rose’s Poem Written Two Years Before He Was Killed By East Pittsburgh Police Officer
- B-PEP Calls For AG To Take Over Investigation Of Antwon Rose Fatal Shooting
- Sources: Man Driving Antwon Rose Before Fatal East Pittsburgh Shooting Was A Jitney Driver
- Hundreds Gather Downtown To Protest Antwon Rose Fatal Shooting
- Sources: East Pittsburgh Officer Accused Of Killing Antwon Rose Sworn In Hours Before Fatal Shooting
- More On The Shooting
On Wednesday, hundreds of people filled the streets outside the East Pittsburgh Police Station as well.
Dozens of police officers from several departments were called in to help control the crowd.
Rose 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.