Protests disrupt Pittsburgh, Homestead; 4 arrested
Hundreds of people protesting the police shooting of Antwon Rose marched in Downtown Pittsburgh as a smaller group blocked the Homestead Grays Bridge several miles away, causing it to be shut down for an hour.
The protest ended about midnight with demonstrators vowing to return to the streets Saturday.
It marked the third straight night of demonstrations since Rose was shot by a police officer Tuesday evening in East Pittsburgh.
The were at least four arrests of protesters in Homestead on Friday night and a motorist was arrested on a summary charge in Pittsburgh for taunting the crowd on East Ohio Street.
One exit of PNC Park on Pittsburgh's North Shore was shut down for a time while the Pirates baseball game was in progress as the demonstrators gathered near the home plate gate.
And Pittsburgh Police confirmed early Friday that a black sedan drove through a group of protesters on the North Shore and drove off.
No injuries were reported. Police are searching for the vehicle, believed to be a Mercedes.
Friday night's protest in Downtown Pittsburgh started at Port Authority's Wood Street T station. A group marched down Liberty Avenue holding a banner reading "Fire Killer Cops" that stretched nearly as wide as the major Downtown artery.
When a car tried to drive through the protest, the group linked arms forming a wall, chanting "no justice no peace" until an officer helped the man turn around, followed by a Port Authority bus.
The group made its way to the Roberto Clemente Bridge, getting to the gates of PNC Park about 20 minutes before the first pitch of the Pirates game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
An officer told a Tribune-Review reporter that police would not try to stop the crowd from entering the stadium.
"They're going to go wherever they want to go," the officer said.
Demonstrators didn't go in.
The demonstration got testy when a man on a megaphone yelled something about how people shouldn't run from police.
Rose was shot and killed Tuesday night after police pulled over a car in which he was riding. East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld shot Rose as he ran from the car, authorities said.
A group of protesters broke away from the demonstration and chased the man with the megaphone.
"Don't do it to yourself," one protest leader yelled at the group.
"Stay focused, think of why you're here, stay focused," another woman yelled.
It worked. Nobody from the protest group touched the heckler.
The man with the megaphone continued to walk away from PNC Park, toward a row of restaurants on Federal Street, as media and a couple of protestors followed.
Several people came out of restaurants and asked what was going on.
"Police! Police! Handle this!" one woman yelled.
The group eventually moved on, weaving through the North Side. Protesters returned Downtown via the Rachel Carson Bridge.
Once they got to the Downtown side of the bridge, protesters formed a circle around all the 17-year-olds in the group.
The 17-year-old Rose was a Woodland Hills High School honors student, and unarmed at the time of the shooting.
The group then made its way to Market Square.
One woman, a former classmate of Rose, broke down in tears while speaking to the crowd in Market Square.
"You see how it went from raining to this? That's him," she said noting the sunshine of the evening.
Throughout the night, a group of Pittsburgh Police officers on motorcycles and in squad cars provided an escort in front of the protest group to make sure it did not come in to contact with other cars.
Protesters stopped chanting and marching several times to observe moments of silence and to read a poem Rose wrote for an honor's class two years ago titled, "I am not what you think."
The group marched on to Route 28 for about 15 minutes, then, after talking to police, organizers directed the group on to the East Ohio Street exit.
The group continued to march along the North Side.
The home plate exit at PNC Park was closed for about 30 minutes as the protesters gathered outside. All the other exits remained open. It was a post-game Fireworks Night, so some of the crowd left after the extra-innings game and some stayed.
No confrontations or other trouble was reported there.
However, as the Pirates games was letting out, several protestors near PNC Park were hit by a car that attempted to part them as he drove through.
The incident took place at the corner of General Robinson Street and Tony Dorsett Drive, where the demonstrators had filled the intersection.
Several fell but quickly got to their feet as the crowd chased after the car. The car went a short distance before crashing through a barrier and fleeing the scene.
"They plowed through the crowd," said Suzy South, of Pittsburgh. "They didn't go slowly. It was scary. Some were begging them to stop."
Police in riot gear quickly arrived and lined the area, forcing the crowd back.
Meanwhile, a smaller group gathered in Homestead.
Michelle Morris, 55, said that she is a close family friend of Antwon Rose's family.
"I'm here to stop violence, not just one incident," said Morris, of Penn Hills.
She wants to see more training for police related to gun violence in communities and preventing police brutality.
"It doesn't matter what race," Morris said. "It needs to stop."
At about 9 p.m., the group walked on to the Homestead Grays Bridge, blocking traffic.
After the group had blocked the bridge for an hour, Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough gave the group a five minutes warning to get off the bridge.
After officers cleared the bridge, officers formed a line on Eighth Street near the intersection of Hays Avenue.
A group of people met them in the street, and officers arrested four people in zip-tie handcuffs.
After about 10 minutes, the crowd dispersed and the officers drove away.
Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5569 or email@example.com. Jamie Martinez and Mike DiVittorio contributed to this report.
Downtown Pittsburgh protest
Protest moves onto 28. Organizers warned participants about possible arrests. Some responded while marching 'no surrender no retreat.'— Mike D. (@MikeJdiVittorio) June 23, 2018
Protesters talking about shutting down route 28. One of the organizers is letting them know that they can be arrested and may have to march for miles to find an exit.— Mike D. (@MikeJdiVittorio) June 23, 2018
Protest organizers said they will continue until there is justice. pic.twitter.com/YEmJhT4wOC— Mike D. (@MikeJdiVittorio) June 23, 2018
Protest turns silent. Participants raise fists in solidarity pic.twitter.com/vSvMLGYqxo— Mike D. (@MikeJdiVittorio) June 22, 2018
Minute of silence pic.twitter.com/rpBPqNFxXj— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
Update: protest still going. Now in market square pic.twitter.com/cX12cjd4Cs— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
Protesters: 'What Side are you on my people what side are you on.' pic.twitter.com/HVeamxbMqG— Mike D. (@MikeJdiVittorio) June 22, 2018
All 17 year olds in the group are now standing in the middle of the circle. Rose was 17 when he was killed pic.twitter.com/bMn8CTp7Nm— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
Some people coming out of restaurants didn't know what this was about. This shooting happened Tuesday night and has been national news ever since— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
Here's more of what that looked like. He had a megaphone. pic.twitter.com/vbs3SarGic— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
A guy yelled at the protestors something I didn't catch that they didn't like. A couple ran toward him but no violence so far. Protest leaders telling people not engage. "Keep your focus" pic.twitter.com/dtqy4wwjeT— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
Pirate fans checking out the protest before going into the game pic.twitter.com/UmPll4hdgb— Mike D. (@MikeJdiVittorio) June 22, 2018
It appears they're ready to enter PNC Park pic.twitter.com/nRNVEkiZJQ— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
This man has broken away from the protest group and is yelling at cops. "I've been a cop for 27 years and never killed anybody," one responds pic.twitter.com/OGYa9v1Ucd— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
This Pittsburgh Police Officer just gave a badge to Adriana Salitrik, 4, of Fox Chapel pic.twitter.com/ayQ21wnANY— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
Pittsburgh Police Officer J. Maier: "they're gonna go wherever they wanna go."Me: are you gonna stop them from going in to PNC Park?"No"— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
And then this happened pic.twitter.com/VSiHNjheaz— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
The group is making its way across the Roberto Clemente Bridge toward the north shore pic.twitter.com/dkyUTcUam6— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
Cop to me: "I think they're going to shut the pirates game down"— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
The protest is on the move. The group is walking on liberty and they took a right on 6th. pic.twitter.com/GpjuJFapo1— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
Buses lined up ready to move by Wood Street and sixth Avenue downtown Pittsburgh. Buses were held up for a while so protesters could march on the street without traffic issues pic.twitter.com/GN4CCkvOCl— Mike D. (@MikeJdiVittorio) June 22, 2018
"I'm fed up" "can't take it no more" "you fed up?" "can't take it no more" pic.twitter.com/XSxxAuLIx8— Theresa Clift (@tclift) June 22, 2018
Homestead Grays Bridge protest
Police clearing Homestead Grays Bridge https://t.co/YT0rztASIO— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 23, 2018
Superintendent Coleman McDonough said he was aware of at least 4 arrests made on Eighth Avenue as police tried to disperse the crowd. Arrests were made for blocking a highway and failure to disperse, he said. He said 1 person was injured while running and tripped over a fence.— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 23, 2018
Officers just made an announcement giving protesters a warning—Do not touch any of the police officers. The crowd responded by chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot."— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 23, 2018
The crowd has been chanting, "No justice, no peace" pic.twitter.com/LdRYQceuQv— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 23, 2018
Allegheny County Police told me that they are holding the line. Cars are able to get up Fifth Ave to the bridge and head towards Squirrel Hill.— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 23, 2018
"We appreciate the cops out here trying to protect & serve—But not the ones out here trying to kill us," Grayson said. His wife, Chelsey Grayson, 28, of Clairton, said she hopes that there will be a fair investigation of the death of Antwon Rose. "We need police accountability."— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 23, 2018
Crowd is holding steady just before 8 p.m. pic.twitter.com/VqHxhUvy60— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 22, 2018
The crowd has crept into a lane of traffic. "This is America" is playing on a speaker nearby. pic.twitter.com/N6Avef1jOR— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 22, 2018
The crowd is moving into the street. pic.twitter.com/eqLQXKYGAZ— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 22, 2018
Some members of the crowd are chanting "No justice, no peace," and holding signs that say, "Justice 4 Antwon." pic.twitter.com/4FTf6OJ34N— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 22, 2018
Tradesse Myers, 22, of West Mifflin, told me that she organized the demonstration in the Homestead Grays Bridge. "It's a peaceful demonstration against gun violence in our community," Myers said, adding that it is separate from the protests around the death of Antwon Rose.— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 22, 2018
I just arrived at Homestead Grays Bridge, where about 50 people are sitting and standing with signs. Traffic is moving. Allegheny County PD is helping protesters cross the street as needed. pic.twitter.com/fkoQuQlhz2— Jamie Martines (@Jamie_Martines) June 22, 2018
Hundreds of people demonstrated in and around East Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The latter protest spilled into early Friday as protesters marched from the East Pittsburgh police station to the Parkway East. More than 150 protesters blocked traffic in both directions of the busy highway for about 5½ hours. One person was arrested.