How The Panicked Confession of a White Cop Proves Why Antwon Rose Jr. Died While Black
I’ve spent most of my writing career focusing on why Black bodies are easily expendable without issue and how police officers maximize the awfulness of that truth to their advantage.
As this ailing nation continues to pulverize under the strain of active items that this toxic administration is gleefully tossing into the fired up bin of volatileness, the ongoing epidemic of police brutality continues to flourish with authority each time a young Black man gets shot down in his prime, and his badged killers enjoy the benefits of a judicial system, that will never allow White cops to pay the ultimate price for their blatant crimes.
Antwon Rose II is back in the news, and no, it’s not “Anton” and yes, we have to do better when reporting on these types of stories that deserve the dignified spell check and fact checking.
Back in June 2018, The 17-year-old Black teen was riding in the passenger of an unlicensed taxicab on neighborhood street in East Pittsburgh. The driver was another Black teen, Zaijuan Hester, who was apprehended and later pleaded guilty to an earlier incident of aggravated assault.
Officer Michael Rosfeld pulled over the two boys after suspecting that their vehicle may be the same one that was involved in a drive-by shooting that occurred minutes prior.
Nothing good ever comes from White cops pulling over a car that features the lives of suspects who are Black, and therefore considered guilty, regardless of their innocence.
The polarizing climate endorses the normalcy of police shootings through viral videos and bloodied imagery, that showcase how Black lives will never matter when it comes to harrowing encounters that end with various forms of extreme violence and death.
Black women are yanked away from their cars and thrown to the concrete ground before being physically manhandled in ways that make it easier to shuffle them into the jaws of waiting police cars. Or they can be brutally assaulted in diners with gawkers calmly recording the unfathomable scene, depicting White adult men rough handling a young Black woman until she has no choice but to surrender, after breathlessly fighting for the decency to keep her frock from being torn apart.
And even when a precious baby boy is at the center of mayhem and chaos, that never seems to assuage the wiles of callous cops, who don’t mind harassing his despaired mother, who desperately wants to shield her terrified child from the blows that she’s willing to endure in the name of Black motherhood.
White motherhood means never having to battle it out with an army of police men after committing the crime of quietly sitting on the floor of a public benefits office.
Tamir Rice was a 12-year-old Black boy, blissfully playing in a local park, with his toy gun. He didn’t pose a threat to the general public, and yet observers, who were undoubtedly Caucasian, inexplicably called police officers to the scene with conflicting stories about a large adult male who “keeps pulling a gun out of his pants and pointing it at people.”
That was the ammunition that two White badged bigots needed as the incentive to carry out the killing of a Black child. After the shooting, they both stood and watched the dying boy bleed to death from gun shot wounds to the abdomen while plotting their defense.
In all the cases that I’ve cited, justice wasn’t served for any of the Black victims who died because of how the color of their skin automatically translates to mandatory manslaughter, thanks to the systemized prejudice that tolerates the recklessness of murderous cops, who have been trained to “shoot first, and lie later.”
That’s how it played out for Antwon Rose’s killer, Office Rosefeld, a rookie White cop, who pulled over a car with two Black teens as occupants, and unsurprisingly there was an attempt to run from the scene, which resulted in shots being fired, and the rest is the reality of the precarious nature of being young, gifted and Black in a country that hates you.
A neighbor a few doors down from the crime scene attests to the fact that after bullets from Rosefeld’s gun battered the body of Antwon Rose, causing him to hit the ground gasping for air, the panicked cop was immediately aware of his mistake and started freaking out.
And that prompted him to ask out loud:
“I don’t know why I shot him. I don’t know why I fired.”
A simple traffic stop had turned into criminal homicide, simply because two Black teens did exactly what two White teens would’ve done, except the difference in racial makeup determines the potential outcome for each scenario. This explains how White young males who terrorize schools and houses of worship, are able to survive those horrifying episodes without a scratch; with the bonus ride to Burger King as a reward for their sedateness.
A Black teenager doesn’t have to be shot in the back and face — numerous times — in order for his swift escape to be halted.
He doesn’t have to lay dying, facing the sky, begging for the last breath to evacuate so the effects of his demise would begin to calm his racing spirit. His family shouldn’t have to be tasked with the burden of identifying and burying the Black body of an energized soul, who had the misfortune of an ill-fated encounter with an officer of the law, who was incapable of handing his station astute professionalism.
The trial is over, and Michael Rosfeld was acquitted of all the charges that he earned the moment he made the life-altering decision to take the life of a Black teenager, who knew what was coming and tried with all his might to dodge the assignment of being a newly-minted hashtag, with the viral content as proof of his tragic departure.
Regardless of the jury’s demonstrated bigotry, and how it fully supports the damning evidence of how police officers who kill for no good reason other than their allegiance to White supremacy, rarely get the punished for their murderous deeds — there’s the private torment of a guiltily inexperienced cop, who has to live the length of his days in the bloodbath of his irrevocable catastrophe.
The police affidavit that was used to build the case against Rosfeld contains details of the embattled cop’s mindset in the aftermath of the deadly shooting. There were instances of outright dishonesty during questioning, that reveals the still-panicked temperament of a White dude who knows he shot a young Black male out of the inherent fear that White people harbor when Black bodies enter the space they’re in.
Initially, Rosfeld was quite sure that his gun went off in response to “the object” that Rose was supposedly carrying, and then that version was retracted in favor of the truth, which revealed that the murderous cop didn’t have any concrete reason to shoot and kill an unarmed suspect.
“I don’t know why I shot him. I don’t know why I fired.”
Here’s the thing, the only way to effectively combat the gross negligence of trained cops when it comes to the application of violent tendencies during active situations involving Black men, women, and children — is through the ownership of badged perpetrators, who have to dispense with the fakery of White victimhood.
Officer Rosfeld knows exactly why he shot Antwon Rose multiple times in the back, and the targeted Black teen was also aware that his life was in danger, that’s why he opted to take his chances by fleeing from the incoming bullets that unfortunately didn’t miss.
There’s an unhealthiness in the relations between law enforcement and the population they terrorize with their presence based on the power that the system helps to weaponize against those who are vulnerable to the evilness of laws, that dictate the valuable currency of Whiteness and the absolute worthlessness of Blackness.
Antwon Rose Jr. died because he was Black in America, and the White cop who killed him wasn’t found guilty for exterminating an innocent life because his act of violence is the systemized form of abuse, that is responsible for the countless Black and Brown men and women, who are languishing behind bars due to the unfair judgements levied on their stolen futures.
The White cop who shot to kill, and then briefly regretted his dire actions seconds later, is the prime example of why police brutality will continue to put Black lives at risk without the proactive effort to figure out the path to progression with the expectations of a preventive cure for this relentless disease.
Black bodies and the Black pain that follows the massacre is the constant that doesn’t elicit the terrified shudder that should greet the graphic nature of over-shared footage that plays out with the inhumanness that matches casual scrolls and clicks — ending with the convenience of online activism.
We’re accustomed to watching the beatdowns of Black women, and the shots fired from the weapons of White cops in the direction of young Black men who were either grasping their phones or nothing at all during their dance with the hail of bullets.
Black bodies are considered large, armed, and dangerous, and even the blood-splattered streets help to emphasize how and why we were born to die like wild animals on the loose, who don’t inspire the level of grief that an injured rhinoceros garners when that video becomes the “view of the Moment.”
We know why Officer Rosfeld fired that gun, and so does he, and the White cops who will shoot to kill the next Black victims, also know why they’re instinctively firing away at unarmed and non-threatening suspects.
It’s because they can. That’s really what that’s about.