East Pittsburgh could shut down police department

East Pittsburgh could shut down police department

EAST PITTSBURGH, Pa. — East Pittsburgh could shut down its police department, two months after a police officer there shot and killed a teenager, leading to homicide charges.

At a Tuesday night council meeting, borough officials said they are meeting with other communities to determine who might take over policing duties in the borough. It was not immediately clear how that handoff would work.

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"There would be no more East Pittsburgh Police Department," said council president Dennis Simon during the meeting. "It would be whoever it would be: the county, whatever community around us that we have the agreement with."

After the meeting, Simon said there is nothing set in stone at the moment.

"it's a possibility, it's a possible, but it's not a definite answer," he said. "We don't have any definite answers yet."

Some residents believe the decision has to do with the fatal shooting of Antwon Rose by East Pittsburgh Officer Michael Rosfeld on June 19, but officials said the discussions have been going on for years.

"We were promised certain things that we will follow up on to make sure updates are on the website, a special meeting coming up for the community to voice how they feel about this takeover they are talking about with the police force, saying there's going to be no more East Pittsburgh police," said resident Erica Yesko.

In June, Rosfeld pulled over a vehicle linked to a drive-by shooting committed minutes earlier in North Braddock. Rose, 17, fled the vehicle during the stop and Rosfeld fired at him three times, killing him.

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Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala later said Rose had committed no crime and Rosfeld violated department policy.

Rosfeld is charged with criminal homicide and is currently out on bail.

Zaijuan Hester, 17, was in the vehicle with Rose and has been charged in connection with the drive-by shooting.