© 2021 West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Telling West Virginia's Story
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Protests Follow Pa. Officer's Acquittal In Fatal Shooting Of A Black Man


There were protests in the city of Pittsburgh over the weekend. The crowds came out after a jury on Friday acquitted a white police officer on all charges in the death of Antwon Rose, an unarmed black teenager who was shot during a traffic stop. Amy Sisk of member station WESA went to the vigil that took place outside the teen's home.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: What was his name?


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: What was his name?


AMY SISK, BYLINE: Those gathered here hope for justice after the death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose. Many wanted to see former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld convicted after he shot Rose last June. The verdict came back Friday. A jury that included African-Americans quickly reached a conclusion that the officer was not guilty. That set off protests over the weekend, with demonstrators marching through streets and blocking intersections.

Sunday's vigil struck a softer tone. People set flowers and candles atop a basketball court. Rose's mother, Michelle Kenney, spoke about the police officer.

MICHELLE KENNEY: But my life has been turned upside down, so I just pray that he sees Antwon's face in everything he does.

SISK: Also at the vigil was 20-year-old artist Ronald Butler, who started a painting a few hours after the verdict came in.

RONALD BUTLER: I was just working straight through the night. Once I heard it, it was just paint, paint, paint.

SISK: On his canvas, words like criminal and thug surround a black man.

BUTLER: I painted this to symbolize how words can hurt just as much as actual bullets and actual violence.

SISK: After Rose's death, he says he hopes black people here will uplift one another. But, he says, it shouldn't take someone dying to bring people together. For NPR News, I'm Amy Sisk in Pittsburgh. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

WVPB is local news, education, music, and entertainment for West Virginia.
Your donation today will help keep us strong and vital.