Pitt Police prepared if Rosfeld trial results in demonstrations


The University of Pittsburgh Police department is preparing for any potential “urgent issues” that may arise as the trial for a former Pitt Police officer, charged with criminal homicide after the fatal shooting of an unarmed teen, continues.

Last June, East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld fatally shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose as he fled a car that Rosfeld had pulled over, according to WESA. The car, according to police, had been involved in a drive-by shooting earlier that day.

Michelle Kenny and Antwon Rose Sr., Rose’s parents, filed a lawsuit against Pitt last December, according to the Tribune-Review. The lawsuit, the Tribune-Review reported, said the University didn’t properly relay Rosfeld’s employment record from 2012 to 2018 to the East Pittsburgh police department. Pitt’s lawyers have responded that East Pittsburgh did not request a copy of Rosfeld’s employee file from the University.

In a statement sent out on March 18 by Provost Ann Cudd and Greg Scott, senior vice chancellor for business and operations, said the shooting “deeply affected our Pittsburgh community.”

Cudd and Scott said there may be an increased police presence as the trial, which started March 20, continues. Past protests for the shooting have blocked major roadways.

“The University remains steadfast in its support for freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble and demonstrate,” the statement read.

In an emailed statement to the University Times, the Pitt Police said it takes the safety of the University community seriously.

“The well-being and safety of our Pitt community is our top priority, and we continually train and prepare for events that could impact our campus,” the statement read. “Working to maintain an environment where free speech is supported through peaceful demonstration is a big part of our job. In coordination with local public safety agencies, we keep our community informed — through our website, emails, our social channels @PittTweet and Facebook and text notifications — about urgent issues.”

Donovan Harrell is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at dharrell@pitt.edu or 412-383-9905.