PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — Jury selection begins Tuesday in the trial of an East Pittsburgh police officer charged with homicide in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.READ MORE: Man In Critical Condition Following Shooting On Brownsville Road
In January, a judge ordered that the jury be selected from outside Allegheny County due to extensive pre-trial publicity.
The trial is set to begin on March 19.
After 12 jurors and four alternates are selected, they will be bused to Pittsburgh for the start of testimony beginning next week, the Post-Gazette reports.
“Race is a big factor in this case,” said Dauphin County Attorney William Costopoulos. “You have a white young police officer, you have an unarmed African-American 17-year-old boy that was killed. So race is a big factor.”READ MORE: State Police Looking For Missing 5-Year-Old Lenny Hatinda In Indiana County
Dauphin County is about 20 percent African-American and 80 percent white, similar to Allegheny County. The prosecutors and the defense will be looking for different qualities in jurors.
“The defense is going to look for pro-police,” Costopoulos said. “The commonwealth is going to look for those that are not so sympathetic to the police, that have had bad experiences with the police.”
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The jury will be sequestered in a hotel for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last two weeks.
Rosfeld is facing criminal homicide charges.
The shooting set off a series of protests that went on for weeks. There’s now a gag order in the case.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Public Schools Board Approves Health And Safety Plan
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