The family members of Antwon Rose, a 17-year-old who was shot dead by a Pittsburgh police officer, have filed a lawsuit against the police department for excessive and deadly force.
On June 19, police officer Michael Rosfeld shot Rose during a traffic stop. Rose and another passenger attempted to get away from the scene by running. Rosfeld claimed that he pulled over the vehicle because he thought it was connected to a drive-by shooting. According to the lawsuit, Rose didn’t have any weapons on him at the time of the shooting.
The lawsuit claims that Pittsburgh “failed to properly train, supervise, screen, discipline, transfer, counsel or otherwise control officers who are known, or who should have been known, to engage in the use of excessive force and/or deadly force, including those officers repeatedly accused of such acts.”
Rosfeld, who joined the East Pittsburgh Police Department just three weeks before the shooting, was charged with criminal homicide and is scheduled for arraignment on Aug. 22.
The family’s lawyer, Fred Rabner, said Rosfeld was wrong for starting the confrontation and drawing his weapon before backup police got to the scene. Rosfeld also failed to offer any medical aid to Rose after the incident.
“The overwhelming facts and unequivocal laws supporting this lawsuit are so clear and self-evident that it could have been filed within days of Antwon’s death,” Rabner said in a statement. “And while this suit will never quell their tremendous grief or minimize their tragic loss, we feel that it is time that we begin to seek answers and take appropriate court action to ensure justice.”
The Borough Council, the mayor and the East Pittsburgh Police Department gave a statement after the shooting:
“We acknowledge the serious allegations directed at our management of the borough police department and that our officer has been charged by the District Attorney with homicide. We are engaged in an evaluation of the operations of our police department in a determined spirit of correcting any shortcomings that we find.”
To read more about wrongful death law, check out Cohen & Cohen‘s personal injury blog.