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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Protests continued Friday across Pittsburgh over the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld.
Hundreds of people spent the evening marching, chanting and calling for justice at two separate demonstrations, one that shut down the Homestead Grays Bridge and the other in Downtown Pittsburgh and North Side.
It was the third day of protests across the city.
The protest Downtown ended up on the North Shore, where, around 11 p.m. a car drove through the crowd, which was gathered near PNC Park. The incident created chaos just as fans were leaving a fireworks night at PNC Park.
WEB EXTRA: Car Drives Through Crowd —
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Police in riot gear lined up as protesters chanted, sang and some linked arms. While the Pittsburgh Pirates game was going on, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the gates to the stadium were shut down.
Before the tense, late-night moments, the protest began at the Wood Street T Station around 5 p.m. Officials blocked off a section of Liberty Avenue, where the protesters formed a circle.
They then went on the move, marching down 6th Street and over the Roberto Clemente Bridge.
They stood on the bridge, already closed for the Friday night’s baseball game, chanting and rallying for a short time, then moved further down, ending up in front of PNC Park.
Traffic on Fort Duquesne Boulevard was moving without many issues from the protest.
The protesters held signs including one reading, “Fire Killer Cop.”
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The demonstrators ended up back Downtown in Market Square, then moved again to the North Side where some entrances to Route 28 were blocked for a short time while the protesters made their way onto East Ohio Street, to the Allegheny Center Mall and ended up at PNC Park.
KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti Reports —
Meanwhile, over on the Homestead Grays Bridge, another protest was being held at the same time. Demonstrators first gathered near the Fifth Avenue entrance to The Waterfront, and as the night went on, the crowd size grew.
Eventually, the bridge had to be shut down.
Allegheny County Police Supt. Coleman McDonough said: “I think that original organizers just wanted a peaceful protest, we had some discussions with them, we wanted to accommodate them and provide for their safety. At one point, we secured one lane, again, trying to provide for their safety while protecting their First Amendment right to free speech. As the night progressed, some additional people came out to the bridge. They insisted on blocking traffic to the bridge. We gave them the bridge for a couple of hours, gave them repeated offers to please disperse and then we began to give them official orders to disperse.”
NEW: Protestors have shut down the Homestead Grays Bridge. pic.twitter.com/IEHw91IxVx
— Ralph Iannotti (@IannottiRalph) June 23, 2018
Supt. McDonough said officers made at least four arrests.
“We cleared the bridge, but the some of the groups came down 8th Avenue were still disorderly, so we attempted to clear 8th Avenue,” he said. “At that time, I think we made four arrests for failure to disperse, at least one resisting arrest and potentially an assault arrest.”
These protests come a day after hundreds of protesters marched from the East Pittsburgh Police Station, down Route 30 in Forest Hills to the Parkway East on Thursday.
They shut down the highway into the early morning hours of Friday. Eventually, police in riot gear moved in to clear what was left of the demonstrators on around 2 a.m.
“We can’t tie up major arteries in the city; obviously, there’s people with medical emergencies, it’s not just a matter of inconvenience, we have to keep our roads open,” said Supt. McDonough on the Homestead Grays Bridge.