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Antwon Rose Family, Attorneys Cautiously Optimistic After Officer Charged

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The family of 17-year-old Antwon Rose appeared with their lawyers after a homicide charge was filed against an East Pittsburgh police officer Wednesday morning.

Rose's mother, father, sister and grandmother stood behind the two lawyers representing them in the case. They family wore T-shirts which said, "Justice For Antwon Rose."

antwon rose family lawyers
(Photo Credit: Amy Wadas/KDKA)

The attorneys say they are cautiously optimistic about the charges being filed against Officer Michael Rosfeld. However, a lot still needs to be determined before they can say they are happy about the charges.

"The family is holding out for a conviction and proper sentencing," said Lee Merritt, one of the Rose family attorneys. "That is a very, very difficult thing to come by, not only in Allegheny County, but in the United States."

Rosfeld was released on $250,000 unsecured bond, which is something that the attorneys say is unheard of.

"He will go home without paying a dollar out of his pocket, without putting property up, just by signing his name," Rose family attorney Fred Rabner said.

"When you have murder one, to have no bail, you have put up no property, to offer no cash ... it's very, very unique and it shows a system that is bent in favor of law enforcement," Merritt said.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala said he objected to Rosfeld being released.

Rosfeld has since been placed on house arrest until trial.

The attorneys highlighted the discrepancies in Rosfeld's interrogation.

"I think what you're going to learn about Officer Rosfeld through the exposure of his prior behavior, his prior actions while with other law enforcement agencies, his prior egregious behavior, you're going to not believe really a word that you hear from Officer Rosfeld. You're going to see that not only was he a violent person, but he had a violence toward a certain type of person. Not only that, he had a habit of falsifying things in his reports," Rabner said.

Community activist Tim Stevens praised Zappala for criticizing the East Pittsburgh police Deparrtmwnt's lack of training.

"He was so direct in his statement on the absence of training, the absence o preparation on the part of East Pittsburgh Police," Steven said. "He made it clear that Rosefeld violated normal procedure of not waiting for backup."

While the family did not speak, they were visibly emotional. They are also thanking the community for their support through this difficult time.


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