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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Hundreds of Pittsburgh Public School students held a walkout and protests Monday following last week’s not guilty verdict in the trial of former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld.
WATCH: Students Hold Protest —
A statement from Superintendent Dr. Anthony Hamlet says the district understands that students want to support Antwon Rose’s family, but the district adds that they do not support students leaving school during the day “to enter an unpredictable and potentially hazardous scene.”
The statement reads in part: “We understand that many students will want to support those fighting for Justice for Antwon. We are aware of students’ plans to protest the jury’s decision. We respect the right of all students to lawfully and peacefully protest, and we take seriously our responsibility to keep all students safe and secure. School leaders have been encouraged to work with student leaders to develop a plan that ensures students are safe while participating in any demonstrations. It is essential that our Office of School Safety and school staff are prepared to support procedures for safe student protests on school campuses.”
To read the full statement, visit the district’s website at this link.
The demonstrations started around 11 a.m. when many of the students began gathering at the City-County Building.
Hundreds of young people packed the streets of Downtown Pittsburgh in the rain during the march.
“So many black lives in general are getting killed for no reason,” one young marcher said.
“If this happened to a white person, you know, it would take different actions, but because this happened to a black man and a white officer, it can just fly by, and it can’t. This is a human being,” one young man said.
The march, which consisted of mostly high school and college students, traveled from Liberty Avenue to Woods Street to the Boulevard of the Allies.
“We are here to protest and fight for our rights as a community of black, white and whatever color we are,” one marcher said.
“Somebody who a lot of us knew close, mostly Woodland Hills students, was shot and he did not have the right to a fair trial. He did not get his day in court, and it’s time for those students to speak up and use their voice,” another marcher said.
The march ended symbolically with a brief stop outside the Allegheny County Jail.
Police closed and reopened streets throughout the march. There were no incidents and no arrests.
Rosfeld was found not guilty on Friday evening in last summer’s fatal shooting of Rose. The verdict has prompted protests and vigils throughout the weekend.
There was one just after the verdict was read that started outside the courthouse.
- Former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld Found Not Guilty In Antwon Rose Shooting
- Protesters Pack Freedom Corner, March Through Pittsburgh Streets After Rosfeld Found Not Guilty
- Hundreds March Through Oakland In Peaceful Protest Of Michael Rosfeld’s Acquittal
- ‘I Got A Long Fight Ahead Of Me’: Antwon Rose’s Mother Says ‘It’s Not Over’ Following Michael Rosfeld’s Acquittal
The district said students must have permission from their parents to participate in the demonstrations, and must follow early dismissal procedures.
Anyone who left without permission will receive an unexcused tardy or absence.
WATCH: Clairton Protest —
Students in Clairton also held a walkout and protest Monday. They gathered on the Ravensburg Bridge around noon.