Wed. 11:20 a.m.: Video of black teen’s killing shown at white officer’s trial
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Video that showed a white police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager was played for jurors as the former police officer’s criminal homicide trial got underway.
Today marks the second day of testimony as the trial of former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld resumes in a Pittsburgh courtroom.
Rosfeld, 30, faces a charge of criminal homicide for the June death of 17-year-old high school student Antwon Rose II.
Rosfeld fired three bullets into Rose after pulling over an unlicensed taxicab suspected to have been used in a drive-by shooting minutes earlier. Rose was a front-seat passenger in the cab and was shot as he fled.
A neighbor who recorded the confrontation said the tone of Rosfeld’s voice is what got her attention.
“That type of tone frightened me myself. It was an angry tone. He was mad at something or someone,” Lashaun Livingston told jurors as testimony began Tuesday.
A defense lawyer said Livingston was 60 yards (55 meters) away at the time.
Prosecutors said Rosfeld gave inconsistent statements about the shooting, including whether he thought Rose had a gun.
“What really, really matters is what Michael Rosfeld knew and what he believed and what he thought when he pulled the trigger,” Deputy District Attorney Daniel Fitzsimmons told jurors in his opening statement.
Defense attorney Patrick Thomassey said Rosfeld did not intend to shoot anyone that day and did nothing wrong in his fatal encounter with Rose.
“You think Michael Rosfeld got up on the 19th of June and thought he was going to shoot someone? Of course not,” he said.
The video of the shooting was posted online, triggering protests in the Pittsburgh area last year, including a late-night march that shut down a major highway.
A jury of six men and six women, including three African-Americans, was selected across the state in Harrisburg last week and will be sequestered in a Pittsburgh hotel for the duration of the trial, expected to take a week or more.