#JusticeforAntwon: Protest Unarmed Teen’s Fatal Shooting

Target: Stephen A. Zappala, Jr., District Attorney for Allegheny County, Pennsylvania

Goal: Prosecute officer for allegedly shooting an unarmed teenager in the back.

He was an honors student, an after-school coach of children, and a soon-to-be high school graduate classmates and teachers described as “bright” and “lively.” And early this week, he lost his life at a traffic stop – allegedly gunned down by a newly sworn-in rookie police officer. Antwon Rose, a 17-year-old African American, was allegedly shot multiple times as he fled from a pulled-over vehicle. He was a passenger in this vehicle…an unarmed passenger.

The events surrounding this tragedy began when officers investigated a shooting that injured another young man. The vehicle in which Antwon was a passenger matched the description of the vehicle involved in this shooting, leading to the traffic stop. While the officers involved did not have a body cam or a dashboard camera, witnesses filmed the incident. As officers appear to force the driver (who was later released) to the ground, Antwon and another passenger fled the vehicle. The other passenger escaped, but the fallen teenager was reportedly shot in the back.

Legal mandates prohibit officers from using deadly force against a fleeing individual unless they have reasonable certainty that they or other civilians are in immediate danger. Antwon Rose had no weapon on his person, and in fact he was not even a suspect at the time….just a bystander.

As the Congressional Black Caucus calls for justice reform in its annual platform, sign this petition to ensure that at least one young man who was robbed of a promising future receives the justice he deserves.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear District Attorney Zappala,

In the 1980s Supreme Court case Tennessee v. Garner, our highest court ruled that deadly force must never be used against a fleeing suspect unless that suspect “poses a threat of serious physical ham.” Antwon Rose was neither a suspect (he was a passenger) nor an imminent threat. He was an unarmed, frightened teenager who very likely reacted instinctively in a chaotic moment.

He did not run toward officers. He ran away. He did not use his hands in a threatening manner. He was too busy running for what turned out to be his life. The officer allegedly involved, although newly minted, was trained to exercise rational, sound judgment in such situations. That oath of duty, taken only hours before, was allegedly quickly abandoned. Now, a mentor and role model for other young kids is gone, transformed into yet another symbol of the fractured relationship between minorities and law enforcement.

You have the opportunity to set a different narrative, to show these children and these communities that their lives do matter. Please investigate and prosecute this case to the fullest extent.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tony Webster

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4 Comments

  1. gen agustsson says:

    enough killings already. go anarchy!

  2. Marty Price says:

    THIS IS COLD BLOODED MURDER NO REASON OR EXCUSE TO SHOOT HIM. POLICE HAVE BECOME MORE DANGEROUS THAN THE CRIMINALS THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE PROTECTING US FROM. TRIGGER HAPPY THUGS IS WHAT THEY’VE BECOME NO RESPECT FOR THE PUBLIC OR THE UNIFORM.

  3. Kristin Peterson says:

    Law enforcement officers these days, a bunch of trigger happy nutjobs!
    These NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE OFFICERS are more of a danger to us & to society then most of the criminals they supposedly keep us safe from!

    That boy was NOT a suspect and he was running AWAY!
    I hope for once they FINALLY start holding these officers ACCOUNTABLE for THEIR actions!

  4. In most cases, I stand behind police because they have a very hard job of protecting us from the thugs that infect our cities and towns today. These criminals don’t care who they kill, as seen w/the 3, that were arrested in Cleveland, Ohio, for the murder of a little black girl, just 9yrs old, who was sitting in her mom’s car w/her 20yr old sister. All these black teenager’s had a gun battle, on a busy street, in daylight and they cared about no one else.
    This is a case though, that I don’t understand, why this new officer felt he had to shoot this young man, 3 time’s, in the back. This shooting was just wrong. If this Officer felt he needed to Stop these 2 from running away,why didn’t he aim for the legs? Why didn’t he run after him? Are these new officers to lazy to run? Why didn’t they call for back-up, if they thought these black teenager’s were involved in an earlier shooting?
    This Officer needs to be charged with involuntary manslaughter because there was no reason to shoot at anyone in this case.

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