The Latest: Trial of officer in black teen’s death underway
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Latest on the homicide trial of a white Pennsylvania police officer in the shooting of an unarmed black 17-year-old (all times local):
Opening statements have been delivered in the homicide trial of a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager near Pittsburgh last summer.
Prosecutors say former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld gave inconsistent statements after he shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose II, including that he thought Rose had a gun.
Deputy District Attorney Daniel Fitzsimmons told jurors Tuesday that “what really, really matters is what Michael Rosfeld knew and what he believed and what he thought when he pulled the trigger.”
Defense attorney Patrick Thomassey said Rosfeld did not intend to shoot anyone that day.
Rosfeld shot Rose three times after pulling over a car Rose was riding in. Another passenger in the car had committed a drive-by shooting minutes earlier.
This item has been corrected to show the drive-by shooting took place minutes before Rose was shot, not hours.
Relatives of Antwon Rose say they are “seeking the justice they so deserve” as a white police officer goes on trial in the fatal shooting of the unarmed black teenager.
A statement released Tuesday by family attorney Fred Rabner says Michael Rosfeld was “hair-triggered” and “overly aggressive” when he killed the 17-year-old high school student during a traffic stop in East Pittsburgh last year.
Rosfeld is charged with homicide. His lawyers have said he thought someone in the unlicensed taxicab that Rose was riding in had pulled a gun on him.
Rabner represents the family in a wrongful death suit against Rosfeld, the borough and its mayor and police chief.
The family statement says Rosfeld’s service weapon “left an irreparable hole in their collective souls.”
A white Pennsylvania police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager last year is headed to trial in a case that could put him behind bars for life.
Lawyers for 30-year-old former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld are expected to argue that the June shooting of Antwon Rose II was justified.
The trial starts Tuesday morning and is expected to last about a week.
Rosfeld is charged with criminal homicide for shooting 17-year-old Rose in the face, elbow and back.
Authorities have said Rose had an empty ammunition clip in his pants when he was killed but not a weapon.
Police say Rosfeld made conflicting statements, including that he saw something in Rose’s hand that Rosfeld thought was a gun.