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Jury in police officer's homicide trial will be selected from Dauphin County

Written by Sarah Kovash and An-Li Herring/WESA | Jan 22, 2019 2:47 PM
Michael Rosfeld mugshot.jpg

Michael Rosfeld was charged with homicide Wednesday, June 27, 2018, in the shooting death of Antwon Rose Jr. after a traffic stop June 19 in East Pittsburgh. (Allegheny County District Attorney via AP)

The jury for East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld's trial will come from Dauphin County.

The state Supreme Court ordered the change Friday, several days after trial judge Alexander Bicket ruled that the jury in Rosfeld's case be chosen from outside Allegheny County. Bicket wrote that "pervasive prejudicial pre-trial publicity" could deny Rosfeld an impartial jury, and that he expected media coverage to intensify as the trial approaches. Jury selection is set to begin Feb. 26. The trial will take place in Allegheny County.

Rosfeld is charged with homicide in the death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose. Rose was killed in June when officers shot him as he fled a traffic stop on foot.

antwon_rose_funeral12.jpg

Kyle Fogarty shows a memorial card after leaving the funeral for Antwon Rose Jr. on Monday, June 25, 2018 in Swissvale, Pa. Fogarty said he was a classmate of Rose and had to attend the service. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The death of Rose, a black teen from Rankin, who was shot by Rosfeld, who is white, caused weeks of protests and calls for police reform

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Dauphin County, which is located in the middle of the state and includes Harrisburg, is 72 percent white and 19 percent African American. Comparatively, Allegheny County is 80 percent white and 13 percent African American.

In the wake of the shooting, East Pittsburgh dissolved its police force and Allegheny County is reviewing legislation to create a countywide police review board.

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