AFRICANGLOBE – You can hear a pin drop at East Pittsburgh police headquarters.
No one is speaking publicly, and within days, there will be no one there left to speak.
East Pittsburgh is disbanding its police department, and the Pennsylvania State police will provide police services there starting this weekend.
A state police spokeswoman confirmed that East Pittsburgh had sent a letter on Nov. 13 requesting patrol services. The town’s council had renewed long running discussions of disbanding the now five-person department in August shortly after an officer fatally shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose II in the back as he allegedly fled a June traffic stop. Officer Michael Rosfeld has been charged with criminal homicide in the shooting.
State police are obligated under law to provide policing services when a municipality does not have a police department.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. pulled no punches when it came to his negative commentary directed at the East Pittsburgh police force, during a June 27 press conference announcing the criminal homicide charges against Officer Rosfeld.
“In response to questions by major crime investigators when they first came on the scene in East Pittsburgh, they said, ‘how do you handle these situations, what are your policies.’ And they said, ‘we don’t have policies.’ That’s a very dangerous situation,” Zappala said.
“In this case, I am concerned about the lack of policies and procedures in East Pittsburgh,” he added.
The shooting death of Rose made national headlines and prompted numerous rallies and protests in East Pittsburgh and within city limits.
On June 19, Rose was the passenger in a vehicle in which 17-year-old Zaijuan Hester allegedly fired shots at a man in North Braddock. When the vehicle was pulled over by Officer Rosfeld in East Pittsburgh moments later, both teens allegedly ran from the vehicle, at which point Officer Rosfeld fired his service weapon at the teens, fatally striking Rose.
By: Rob Taylor Jr.