A package of bills was unveiled at the State Capitol today, aimed at reforming police procedures in Pennsylvania. The bills focus heavily on the use of deadly force by police officers.
A package of five bills was announced today. They stem from the shooting death of Antwon Rose in East Pittsburgh almost one year ago.
“Three shots in the back, how do you justify that?”
In June 2018, 17-year-old Antwon Rose was shot and killed by Police Officer Michael Rosfeld during the investigation of an earlier drive-by shooting.
Representative Summer Lee says, “He was shot in the back, he was unarmed, and he was fleeing from a police officer.”
Last month, Rosfeld was found ‘not guilty’ of criminal homicide.
Representative Jordan Harris says, “When the answer to a question can be a bullet, you deserve to have a higher degree of accountability in that person.”
The incident leading to Tuesday’s unveiling of five police reform bills by Democratic members of the Hosue and Senate. They include providing clear definitions of when to use deadly force, establishing a statewide standard for training and policing regulations, and requires the attorney general to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate any use of force by an officer.
Lawmakers behind the bills say they’re not anti-police legislation, but are a way to improve the relationship police have with communities they serve.
Harris says, “We want them to know, also, that we have their backs. And we will do the necessary job of weeding out the bad apples so that it doesn’t spoil the whole bunch.”
We asked if lawmakers behind these bills had reached out to Republicans to gauge their support. We were simply told they hope to work in a bipartisan fashion.