PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Protesters gathered outside the District Attorney’s office Friday morning.
Around 10:30 a.m., a small group of protesters went to Stephen Zappala’s office to discuss the Antwon Rose II fatal shooting case.
Today, there was supposed to be a preliminary hearing for the East Pittsburgh police officer charged in the shooting. However, Officer Michael Rosfeld waived that hearing earlier this week and will now face formal arraignment on Aug. 22.
One of the protesters read a letter, which said in part:
“As the people’s prosecutor, we need you to utilize you authority to remove Judge Manning from the case, provide a fair and just jury selection process of folks who represent the community, who have experienced police brutality, revoke Rosfeld’s bail completely, that there is no plea deal. If these reasonable demands are not met, we cannot move forward in good faith that you can be objective in this case.”
The district attorneys office spokesperson said Friday that Zappala is aware of the protestors’ desire to turn the case over to the Attorney General’s office. However, that is not possible without a change in legislation. Should the law be tweaked to allow this, the district attorney’s office would turn the case over.
However, if the law remains the same, the district attorney’s office sees no reason why it needs to—or should— turn this case over to any other party.
Zappala’s office issued the following statement in response to today’s demonstration:
“District Attorney Zappala has previously met with the family of Antwon Rose, has listened to their concerns and has explained to them how the judicial process is expected to unfold in this case. If the family desires to meet again to express additional concerns or to receive updated information, the District Attorney will be happy to do so.”
Watch Meghan Schiller’s report —
Then, the group moved outside of the courthouse and held a rally, where they reiterated their demands. From there, they marched to Forbes Avenue, where they blocked intersections along the road.
At one one point, the protesters confronted Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich and Police Chief Scott Schubert.
“We all want everyone to go home safe at night, whether it be the protesters, the motorists or the visitors and pedestrians of the City of Pittsburgh,” Hissrich said.
Eventually, the group made their way to Market Square.
On Thursday, the City of Pittsburgh released new road safety guidelines, which prohibit protesters from blocking certain intersections. The prohibited areas include all hospital entry and exit routes, all special events and their entry and exit routes, and all tunnels and bridges that if blocked would have a significant impact on overall public safety.
The guidelines make it clear that Pittsburgh Police support people’s right to protest and that they can still block intersections. However, for safety reasons, protestors will not be allowed to block these so-called “Red Zones.”
The guidelines also include a list of certain highways and byways that protesters are not allowed to block during weekday morning and afternoon rush hour.