Last June, I wrote this post about sweet Antwon Rose, the 17-year-old boy who was shot to death by a maniacal cop with a history of violence and falsified reports. Before the shooting, Antwon was in a car with friends when he heard gunshots coming from inside the car. Afraid of the situation escalating, Antwon jumped out of the car and ran as fast as he could. Tragically, a white cop saw a Black boy running and fired three shots into his body, murdering him on site. The cop was previously employed at the University of Pittsburgh and accumulated numerous complaints of violence and brutality before he was fired for assaulting the school’s chancellor’s son. Instead of losing his access to unlimited power, authority, and weapons, the cop regained status and killed Antwon on his first day in the new department. Two years prior, Antwon wrote a poem about his fear of death and his dream of living a full life. He was never given that chance.
The cop was charged with criminal homicide after his story consistently conflicted itself and investigators grew suspicious of his actions in the shooting. However, a jury acquitted the cop of all charges today within four hours of deliberation. District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. openly disagreed with the jury’s verdict, but said that he would respect their decision. After the trial, Antwon’s mother Michelle Kenney said, “I hope that man never sleeps at night. I hope he gets as much sleep as I do, which is none.” Antwon was murdered because of his skin color and the racism that penetrates law enforcement. He was an innocent boy, just a boy with his whole future around the corner. He will never be older than 17, but the cop who took his life will continue to age and live his life knowing that he took someone else’s. Antwon should be alive right now. We will never forget him or what his murderer did, even if a jury does.