37 minutes ago
The jury appeared to believe Michael Rosfeld's statement that he felt threatened when two teenagers were running in front of him, lawyers told the Tribune Review hours ago after a jury told the former police officer in the shooting of Answer by Rose II
The jury was obviously impressed by Rosfeld's testimony, which Bruce Antkowiak, law professor at Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, described as a "significant factor" in the acquittal.
The University of Pittsburgh Law Professor, David Harris, agreed. In police operations that use force, a jury must decide whether Rosfeld has a "reasonable" fear for his safety and his life, Harris said.
"Under the law, he does not have to be right just sensible," Harris said. "The jury believed Rosfeld's claim he was reasonable for fear of his safety and his life."
Harris said the speed of the verdict shows that the jury has no problem coming to this conclusion.
Any reason to blame him would have taken the debate much longer, "Harris said.
The non-guilty verdict did not surprise Antkowiak or Harris.
Convictions are in cases where a similar police
"Juris have a hard time trying to guess a cop," Antkowiak said.
Despite the verdict, "it's a no-win situation for anyone [1
Rose was one of nearly 1,000 Americans, both of whom died as blacks and whites a year after she was shot dead by the police Only 98 police officers killed in the past 14 years for such deaths. While charges against officers in such shootings are rare, convictions are even rarer. Of the 98 officers, three were convicted of murder; 32 others were found guilty of manslaughter or minor crimes.
Rose was shot three times during the run. The filming was recorded by witnesses on video.
However, Harris said that this case is another example of how videos do not tell the whole story.
He cited the footage of Walter Scott, who escaped in 2015 from North Charleston, SC, who escaped a police officer who had fired eight times, was also captured on video and led to a hanging jury.
"The video only tells part of the story," Harris said. "People need to understand that what they see in a video is not enough to prove a case."
This also points to weaknesses in the law, which in these cases apply to law enforcement officers.
"The law as It is not sufficient to address these types of problems," said Harris, "A jury must judge the actions of a police officer by a standard, whether his actions were objectively rational."
The jury may Instead of using reflection or personal experience to inspect the actions of the police officer, Harris said, instead, they should try to look at a case "through the eyes of a reasonably objective police officer."
By this standard and most juries, the police As the good guys consider, it's very rare for the convict to be a cop even with good evidence, "said Harris.
S. Lee Merritt, lawyer for the Rose family, said after the ruling that laws needed to be changed and that he and the family would work to achieve that.
"Although the facts of the case were clear, Antwon Rose had shot in the back as he ran in front of Officer Rosfeld; The jury's verdict was heavily influenced by flaws in the current Pennsylvania law that contradicted the citizens' protections provided by the US Constitution, "Merritt said in a statement issued after the ruling. "Antwon's family and I will work to change those laws to prevent other families from suffering similar disappointment."
Tom Davidson is an author of Tribune Review. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .