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Turahn Jenkins announces candidacy for Allegheny County district attorney

PITTSBURGH — A new candidate has entered the race to be Allegheny County’s next district attorney.

On Monday night at a rally in the Hill District, Turahn Jenkins announced his intentions.

Jenkins has worked as a public defender and in the DA’s office.

“I began to question the impact I was having on the system,” he said.

The announcement comes as demonstrators across the area have expressed their anger over the police shooting of Antwon Rose and called for current District Attorney Stephen Zappala to step down.


“I know what it's like. I've experienced it and I know the devastation the system can cause,” Jenkins said.

Zappala has held the office since being appointed in 1997 and ran his first campaign in 1999. Since that initial campaign, Zappala has never faced an opponent, according to Politics Pa.

Last week, Zappala’s office charged East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld with homicide for killing Rose, but demonstrators say it’s deeper than that one case.

At the same time Jenkins was announcing his intentions, family and friends of Coy Joyce gathered to demonstrate about the lack of charges in his death.

“The medical examiner deemed this a homicide; then how do you ignore it? He was literally choked to death,” Jenkins said.

In addition to violence and police brutality, Jenkins said one of his biggest concerns is the opioid epidemic.

“What have we done to fix the system? We've done nothing; we're doing the same thing then that we're doing now,” he said. “Do you know what we're going up against? We need everyone in the streets. We can't hope for this, we can't wish for this.”