Antwon Rose Jr.
Antwon Rose Jr. was a 17-year-old teenager living in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was an honor roll student who took Advanced Placement (AP) classes and was a community volunteer. Antwon’s mother had been a clerk for another police department. On June 19, 2018, Antwon was shot and killed by an East Pittsburgh police officer while fleeing from the site of a near-fatal drive-by shooting in which he had been involved.
The officer who killed Antwon had just been sworn into the East Pittsburgh Police Department only a few hours before his shooting. The officer had trained with their department for three weeks prior. He also had seven years of experience with other police departments in Pennsylvania.
The officers were not wearing body cameras, nor were the squad cars equipped with cameras. But eyewitnesses captured footage on their cell phones. A video recording taken by a bystander shows police ordering the driver to step out from the car. While the driver was being handcuffed, Antwon and the third occupant, Zaijuan Hester, ran from the car. Footage confirms that the officer did not initiate a foot pursuit. Instead, he fired three shots at Antwon’s back as he fled.
In the video, a woman's voice is heard asking, "Why are they shooting at them? All they did was run, and they are shooting at them?" Police confirmed Antwon was unarmed when he was shot. Antwon’s murder led to days of protests.
The white police officer was tried and found not guilty of criminal homicide. Antwon Rose’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the officer and the city. In 2019, the family reached a $2 million wrongful death settlement with East Pittsburgh. Their lawyer, S. Lee Merritt, said the amount was the maximum that East Pittsburgh could pay under its insurance policy.