PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Friday marks two years since Antwon Rose II was shot and killed by an East Pittsburgh Police Officer.
In the following months, lawmakers pushed for police reform with several bills, but it never came to be law.
Senator Jay Costa from Allegheny County proposed Senate Bills 458 and 459. They looked to create a registry of officers who have been reprimanded, call for additional training and require local governments to have a policy for deadly use of force.
“We don’t want to see these type of things happen. Whether they be young kids — teenagers like Antwon Rose — or adults like George Floyd,” Sen. Costa said.
Two years later, and the bills are still sitting in Harrisburg.
Senator Costa expects that to change in light of the recent protests.
“It’s made our legislative body more informed and wanting to participate and find some solutions on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the building,” the Senate Democratic leader said.
He said the law enforcement community was not in favor of the bills over the last 18 months, but they are now on board and agreeing to reform.
“They recognize that reform is needed, and people are screaming for reform. I think now is the time to do it,” Sen. Costa told KDKA’s Chris Hoffman.
Several other reforms are also being discussed, like banning chokeholds and having an independent investigator for police shootings.
Sen. Costa’s proposals are now being included in some of the other police reform legislation.
“I’m not concerned about who has pride of authorship. I want to get them done. That’s what we’re working towards and I’m hopeful we can get there by the end of the month,” Sen. Costa said.
The Senate Democratic leader said bills with these reforms should hit the governor’s desk by the end of the month.
He says he is certain the governor will sign them into law.