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Pittsburgh mayor praises police response to protests, calls for changes to laws

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is touting the city’s preparation and response to the acquittal of Michael Rosfeld.

Rosfeld’s trial for shooting and killing Antwon Rose last summer only took three and a half days, and by Friday night, the jury had decided to find him not guilty.

Peduto said that in the day’s since, all the planning and hard work by public safety and other city groups has paid off.

“I was on the other side of the world Friday and sick to my stomach when the verdict came in,” he said.


While he said he was upset with the verdict, he praised police for protecting protesters who have taken to the streets.

“The first credit over the past several days goes to them, and thanking them for the way that they have respected those that have  taken upon their first amendment right to protest,” he said.

Peduto said there were some complaints about protesters taking over restaurants in the East End in the hours after the verdict was announced, but there were no 911 calls for help and he said some restaurants welcomed the protesters.

The mayor also referenced another protest that used sit-ins to force change.

“In the civil rights movement, it was the protesters that went into restaurants and did sit downs that then led to voters' rights and civil rights. There's a history in this country of protesters going into businesses,” Peduto said.

Following the jury’s decision, he’s calling for changes to the laws that allow police officers to use deadly force.

“When an actor is fleeing a scene and unarmed, the use of force needs to be re-evaluated in determining, what is reasonable and what is not. Law is law and justice is justice, they're two separate characteristics and laws should be based on justice,” he said.