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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Police say all their officers will work 12-hour shifts while they continue to monitor protests over the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose by an East Pittsburgh Police officer.
Rose was shot three times last week. And while the shooting didn’t happen in Pittsburgh, several of the protests have.
One was held Saturday night on the South Side, and another happened Friday night in Downtown Pittsburgh and outside PNC Park. Other protests happened outside the East Pittsburgh police station, and a protest a day later shut down the Parkway East in Wilkinsburg for hours.
The Department of Public Safety released a statement about the protests Monday afternoon.
They say the City of Pittsburgh will continue to protect the protesters’ First Amendment rights while making sure that everyone remains safe. All Pittsburgh Police officers will work 12-hour shifts starting Tuesday morning. These 12-hour shifts will continue indefinitely.
The full statement can be read below:
“Pittsburgh Public Safety continues to monitor protest activities in response to the fatal shooting of Antwon Rose.
City, Public Safety, and Police officials recognize that this is a highly emotional situation and anticipate protests to continue tomorrow following the family’s request to not protest today, the day of Antwon’s funeral.
Over the past several days, protesters have been passionate but peaceful during gatherings in and around the city. Pittsburgh officials commend participants, organizers and all affected by the protests.
Police have made it a priority to respect protesters’ First Amendment rights while also ensuring public safety. We have reported only one arrest during the protests, for a motorist who incited the crowd Friday night on East Ohio Street. In several instances, police have formed human barricades to protect protesters from counter-protesters.
Police also continue to actively search for a vehicle that drove through a crowd Friday night outside PNC Park. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.
We understand the community is hurting. We understand there is anger and confusion. We understand that words matter, which is why the city police officer who is being investigated for posting insensitive remarks on social media has been placed on modified duty pending an OMI investigation.
We also understand that while this tragic shooting did not occur within city limits or involve the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, protests have and will continue to occur within city limits.
The City of Pittsburgh will continue to protect protesters’ First Amendment rights while assuring that all people — from protesters to city residents and motorists who may be affected by road closures — remain safe.
To achieve that goal, all police officers will work 12-hour shifts starting Tuesday morning to assure we maintain proper staffing levels to keep the city safe. This order will continue indefinitely.
This is a time of mourning and uncertainty. But we know that Pittsburgh is at its strongest when we are united, when we show empathy and understanding for our fellow human beings.
We all want justice. Until that process is completed, we ask all Pittsburghers — from protesters to residents — to continue being peaceful and respectful of each other, even in such distressing times.”
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Protesters have taken to the streets almost every night since Rose was fatally shot by East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld on June 19.
In the coming days, District Attorney Stephen Zappala could make an announcement about whether the East Pittsburgh police officer will be charged. But Sunday and Monday there were no protests to give those who knew Antwon Rose a chance to say goodbye.
A funeral service was held for Rose in the auditorium of the Woodland Hills Intermediate School.
Also last Friday, an anti-gun violence protest shut down the Homestead Grays Bridge.
On Saturday afternoon, protesters joined the previously scheduled Juneteenth March from the Hill District to Downtown Pittsburgh. Public officials joined community leaders to speak out against the shooting.