A jury has acquitted Michael Rosfeld Friday night in the trial of the white former police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen fleeing a high-stakes traffic stop outside Pittsburgh.
Rosfeld was charged with homicide for shooting Antwon Rose Jr. during a traffic stop last June. Rose was riding in an unlicensed taxi that had been involved in a drive-by shooting when Rosfeld pulled the car over and shot the 17-year-old in the back, arm and side of the face as he ran away.
The panel of seven men and five women — including three black jurors — saw video of the fatal confrontation, which showed Rose falling to the ground after being hit. The acquittal came after fewer than four hours of deliberations on the fourth day of the trial.
The Rose family’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt, had urged a murder conviction, saying before closing arguments that it’s “pretty obvious” Rose was not a threat to Rosfeld.
Rose’s death — one of many high-profile killings of black men and teens by white police officers in recent years — spurred protests in the Pittsburgh area last year, including a late-night march that shut down a major highway.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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