PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Even before the sun rose Tuesday morning, there were roses rising around the Allegheny County Courthouse.
Members of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Bend the Arc, a Jewish organization, placed handmade purple roses on trees along the sidewalks of the courthouse.
“The Purple Rose Project came out of our experience after the synagogue shooting when there was an outpouring of love and support for us, and we believe that Antwon Rose’s family and this community deserve the same,” explained Joshua Friedman, a Bend the Arc volunteer.
“They deserve love and support in their difficult time, too,” he added.
The roses are an outward symbol of support for Rose’s family as the criminal homicide trial begins for former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld.
“The purple roses are obviously a symbol of Antwon Rose,” said Friedman. “And purple has been a color of solidarity in the community.”
It’s not just roses outside the courthouse.
Members of One Hood Media held a large painting of Rose just outside the entrance to the courthouse.
Bend the Arc and One Hood Media are among the more than 120 businesses and organizations that signed an open letter demanding justice for Rose.
The letter reads, in part: “We believe the family and loved ones of Antwon Rose II deserve justice. The outcome of this trial can either deepen the division or show that we are truly stronger together.”
Bend the Arc hopes the roses will be a reminder that one community cares for another.
“When we stand together, we are stronger together,” said Friedman.