In another case of police killing an unarmed and unthreatening black person that has drawn national media attention, prosecutors in Pittsburgh are trying to squelch more stories by requesting a gag order.
While this may seem to be just another case of police killing an unarmed black man – in this case video captured 17-year-old Antwan Rose Jr. running away from police when he was shot in the back – the difference is that East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld is being tried for criminal homicide.
The court hearing is scheduled Wednesday, before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Anthony M. Mariani.
Defense attorney Patrick Thomassey stated that Rosfeld believed Rose was armed and has accused prosecutors of "trying to hide something," according to the Miami Herald.
Thomassey also is attempting to seek a jury from another county due to pretrial publicity.
Also charged is Zaijuan Hester, who was also a passenger in the car that fled as well.
"A grand jury indicted Zaijuan with attempted homicide, multiple counts of aggravated assault and various firearms violations. "
Chief Trial Deputy District Attorney Daniel Fitzsimmons told Judge Mariani, during the first pretrial, that he expected to ask the court to review some of the police reports in secrecy in the judges chambers and after that they were reviewed asked that the would be barred from evidence in this case as they relate to the case against Hester.
Thomassey stated that he is planning on calling Hester as a witness and requesting a grant of immunity to Hester by the judge.
There has been many inconsistencies in this case as well as in Rosfeld history.
"East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld initially told investigators he was in fear for his life because he saw Antwon Rose Jr. turn toward him with a dark object in his hand, prompting him to fire. But then Rosfeld gave another version of the incident – likely after learning the shooting was captured on video – where he admitted he did not see anything in the teen's hands."
That was not the first time Rosfeld fabricated an incident.
In December 2017, Rosfeld also fabricated an incident report about an arrest he was involved with at a bar where he charged two men with simple assault, trespassing and disorderly conduct, claiming in his report that surveillance video supported the charges but review of the video showed the opposite and resulted in charges being dropped.