Letter to the editor: Poor Rosfeld headline, photo choice
I take issue with the photograph and headline editors chose to accompany an article about possible protests regarding the police shooting of Antwon Rose II (“Some preparing, others bracing, for start of police shooting trial in Pittsburgh,” March 18, TribLIVE).
The article seemed intended to capture the support that the community has given to the Rose family and the respect shown to Rose’s mother by activists who have embraced her request that no demonstrations be held until a verdict is handed down.
Yet, choosing a photo of black men and women raising their fists during a Juneteenth march to sit below a headline claiming that “some” people are “bracing” for protests is dog-whistle racism at best — a brazen attempt to gin up white anxiety as the Michael Rosfeld trial begins, at worst.
While some people might be “bracing” for protests, everybody I’ve spoken with is bracing for a different outcome: yet another police officer acquitted of killing an unarmed black person.
The killing of unarmed civilians by police is what is on trial here, not the tactics of demonstrators protesting injustice. I hope in the future editors will choose photos and headlines with that distinction in mind.
The writer is a senior field organizer for the ACLU of Pennsylvania’s Campaign for Smart Justice.