Protestors Shut Down Route 30, Westinghouse Bridge In East Pittsburgh

Jul 8, 2018

Marchers blocked traffic on Route 30 in East Pittsburgh and North Versailles Sunday, protesting the shooting death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose.

Demonstrators and media on scene said a motorist was also arrested after driving into the crowd.

North Versailles police would not confirm details of the incident, directing queries to the police chief, who does not work on the weekends, but a Facebook live video posted by activist Amber L. Sloan shows a man in handcuffs being transferred from an undercover police vehicle to another marked police car. Witnesses also said several people were injured by the driver, but that information couldn't be confirmed either. 

Protestors marched from East Pittsburgh Police Department headquarters to a nearby Walmart on Route 30 in North Versailles, where the alleged incident occurred.

During the march, demonstrators made stops at the houses of East Pittsburgh Mayor Louis Payne and Chief of Police Lori Fruncek, his daughter, before blocking traffic on Route 30.

They eventually ended up back in East Pittsburgh at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Media were not allowed inside during the gathering but occasionally a loud cheer could be heard coming from the church. Organizer Nicky Jo Dawson came out after the meeting and reiterated demands for equal justice. She said area protests would continue.

Demonstrations have been a frequent occurrence in the Pittsburgh area since East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld shot and killed Rose after pulling over the car he was riding in June 19. Rosfeld faces a charge of criminal homicide; his preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 27.

Activists argue Rosfeld should be charged with first-degree murder and his bail revoked.

Some have called for District Attorney Stephen Zappala to be fired; there have also been demands for improved police training and body cameras for East Pittsburgh officers.