Lawmakers push police reform measures following Rosfeld acquittal
A rally and lobbying day in support of legislation aimed at reforming police procedures is planned at the state Capitol in Harrisburg Tuesday.
A coalition of state lawmakers have unveiled bills in the wake of the March acquittal of former East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld in the death of Antwon Rose II.
Rosfeld shot Rose, 17, three times when Rose ran from a traffic stop in June 2018. Rose was unarmed.
State Rep. Donna Bullock, D-Philadelphia and vice chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, said shootings of unarmed people, videos of excessive use of force and a “general sense of distrust” have deteriorated police-community relations.
“This legislative package is a step toward addressing the complex challenge of maintaining public safety, treating people fairly and police oversight and professionalism,” she said.
The legislative package includes legislation that would:
• Modify definitions for the use of deadly force;
• Requiring law enforcement agencies to keep detailed personnel records surrounding an officer leaving a job;
• Appoint a special prosecutor to investigate any incident of deadly use of force involving a law enforcement officer;
• Reform the certification and decertification process for police officers;
• Address arbitration regarding matters of discipline for police.
“Far too often we are seeing injustices like the police shooting and death of Antown Rose,” said state Rep. Summer Lee, D-Allegheny and treasurer of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. “This package of legislation is one way we can make a difference and seek justice.
“Police officers, just like any other citizen, need to be held accountable, and we must continue to fight to make sure that happens to protect communities and our vulnerable populations, as well as police officers and their departments,” she said.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .