Family of Antwon Rose II, Pittsburgh Teen Killed by Police, Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Kyle Fogarty shows a memorial card after leaving the funeral for Antwon Rose II on June 25, 2018, in Swissvale, Pa.
Kyle Fogarty shows a memorial card after leaving the funeral for Antwon Rose II on June 25, 2018, in Swissvale, Pa.
Photo: Keith Srakocic (Keith Srakocic)

The family of an unarmed black teen who was shot and killed by a white East Pittsburgh police officer filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, claiming wrongful death, as well as the use of “excessive and deadly force.”


The family of 17-year-old Antwon Rose II alleged in the federal lawsuit that East Pittsburgh failed to “properly train” its officers, thus resulting in the fleeing teen’s death, ABC News reports.

Rose was running on foot from officers when officer Michael Rosfeld—who had been sworn in mere hours prior—fired the fatal shots on June 19.

The lawsuit names Rosfeld, East Pittsburgh Police Chief Lori Fruneck and Mayor Louis Payne as defendants in the lawsuit.

These defendants “had a duty, but failed to implement and/or enforce policies, practices and procedures for the EPPD that respected Antwon M. Rose II’s constitutional rights to assistance and protection,” the lawsuit claimed.

East Pittsburgh “failed to properly train, supervise, screen, discipline, transfer, counsel or otherwise control officers who are known, or who should have been known, to engage in the use of excessive force and/or deadly force, including those officers repeatedly accused of such acts,” the suit adds.

Rosfeld, 30, is facing charges of criminal homicide in the shooting, and last week waived his preliminary hearing, which usually is used to determine if there is enough evidence to hold the defendant for trial.


Rosfeld’s lawyer, Patrick Thomassy, has said in the past that the shooting was justified.

“I’m not going to get into my conversations with my client, but I think the law is clear that he had a right to shoot,” Thomassey told reporters back in June. “Reading the affidavit of probable cause, which is the facts that the police write to support the arrest warrant, quite frankly, I don’t see it as a murder case at all.”


Rosfeld is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 22.

Meanwhile, Rose’s family is still seeking some sort of justice for their loved one.


“The overwhelming facts and unequivocal laws supporting this lawsuit are so clear and self-evident that it could have been filed within days of Antwon’s death,” Fred Rabner, an attorney representing the family, told ABC in a statement.

“And while this suit will never quell their tremendous grief or minimize their tragic loss, we feel that it is time that we begin to seek answers and take appropriate court action to ensure justice.”

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