The East Pittsburgh Police Department, the same department that housed Officer Michael Rosfeld, who shot and killed unarmed 17-year-old Antwon Rose II, will be disbanded as of Saturday.
Borough council members made the decision within the past few weeks, the officer told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pennsylvania State Police will take over law enforcement in the borough when the five-member department closes Dec. 1, according to the officer, who asked not to be named. …
[In August,] council President Dennis Simon told Post-Gazette news partner KDKA-TV that the borough was weighing financial, safety and practical concerns.
“We’ve been thinking about this for years, actually,” Mr. Simon said at the time. “It’s something that’s been in progress for a long time.”
Naturally, it’s hard not to wonder how significant a role Rose’s tragic death may have played in the timing of the decision. According to the Post-Gazette, there have been informal talks about replacing the department with state officers since Rose’s death. But information on the reasoning behind and details of the closure has been sparse.
Per the Post-Gazette, in addition to Rosfeld’s forthcoming trial, “Antwon’s family is suing Officer Rosfeld and East Pittsburgh, in federal court, for wrongful death and excessive force.” According to WPXI, the family’s concern is “better training for police and it’s about police reporting when there are bad police,” per their attorney. They are also seeking further details about the department’s disbandment.