For the third day in a row, hundreds of protesters continue to call for justice over 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr.’s killing by an East Pittsburgh police officer.
The protesters traveled through downtown Pittsburgh and across the Rachel Carson Bridge on Friday, pausing at intervals to read from a poem the Woodlands High School honor student had written about police brutality two years prior to his death.
“I see mothers bury their sons,” the poem read, in part. “I want my mom to never feel that pain.”
At one point during the demonstration, all the 17-year-olds gathered at the center of the group to highlight Rose’s young age when an officer killed him as he ran away, unarmed, on Tuesday evening.
Friday’s demonstration comes just hours after protesters blocked Interstate 376 in the city, shutting down portions of the highway for more than five hours from Thursday night into early Friday morning.
By Friday afternoon, the protest was going strong once again and appeared poised to continue into the night.
Michael Rosfeld, the officer who killed Rose, shot him three times in the back as the teen ran from a vehicle stopped as part of an investigation into an alleged drive-by shooting.
Authorities said they found two semi-automatic handguns inside the vehicle Rose had been riding in, but confirmed that the 17-year-old was unarmed at the time of his death. Rosfeld is reportedly on unpaid leave pending the results of an investigation.
On Friday afternoon, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough released a statement denying media reports that there was video footage showing Rose firing a gun and that gunshot residue had been found on the teen’s hands.
“Both reports are false,” McDonough said. “We caution the media about providing irresponsible information from sources that are not verified.”