PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Several elected officials addressed a group of protesters who marched through Downtown Pittsburgh in response to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr.
The protesters started at Freedom Corner in the Hill District Tuesday morning and made their way Downtown. Along the way, they blocked off several intersections.
Eventually, they reached the City-County Building, where a group of politicians joined in the group's calls for charges to be filed against Officer Michael Rosfeld.
"I'm appalled at what I saw on the video. We've already from our official capacity called for the DA to press charges on this individual," Rep. Jake Wheatley said.
Rep. Wheatley also called for a reform on police training.
"There should be a board, or commission that's empowered to do its own investigation to take it out of the hands of the locals so politics is not a part of it," Wheatley said.
Rep. Ed Gainey was the next to speak and delivered an emotional call to the crowd:
"There's no rhyme or reason why an unarmed African-American, or anybody else should be shot in the back three times. There's no rhyme or reason for it. There's no rhyme or reason why, in our city, we don't have better police-community relations to where were are talking about how we save a life. There's no rhyme or reason and today, we are asking that charges be brought forward on the officer.
At the end of the day, if we, the community, are to trust the police, then we have to understand that when you ask us for trust, we gotta believe that you will discipline your own and when you begin to discipline your own, then we can believe that we can have peace in the City of Pittsburgh.
RAW VIDEO: Elected Officials Address Protesters:
We know that we have great cops out here, but for the ones that shoot an innocent, unarmed man in the back, he should be charged. Because at the end of the day, it's more important that we build a community that believes in one another based on who we are and the content of who we are, not color, gender or anything else."
Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner thanked the protesters for their continued demonstrations.
"We support you absolutely to everyone who has been protesting," Wagner said. "I know, as someone that grew up here and was elected here, that if it wasn't for your voice, justice might not be served. So, thank you and keep on doing it. You will continue to have our support."
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Wagner also called for charges to be filed against the officer.
"As we stand here as a community to say that we will absolutely not stand for this and as a community we absolutely support the need to file charges," Wagner said.
Rep. Gainey also called for diversity education for officers before they take the oath.
"From kindergarten through 12th grade, we've all studied one thing – European history. But, it has taken African-Americans, Caucasians, Latinos, everybody has helped to build this great land called America and before any cop takes an oath to become a cop, he should have a certain education about who we are. Bring diversity education, let's charge this officer and let's show the world Pittsburgh is the No. 1 city because we come together," he said.
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