Lawmakers hope to change state’s rules on police shootings

Mark Scolforo
Associated Press
FILE - In this June 23, 2018, file photo, demonstrators protesting the fatal police shooting of Antwon Rose Jr. march through the South Side section of Pittsburgh. The fatal police shooting of Rose as he fled during a traffic stop on June 19, 2018, is the first in the Pittsburgh area in the Black Lives Matter era, and it is galvanizing residents who say they’ve been frustrated for too long. (Michael M. Santiago/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP, File)

HARRISBURG – A group of legislative Democrats say shootings by police show a need to change Pennsylvania’s rules for when officers can use deadly force and to reform oversight and training.

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus outlined an agenda Tuesday that includes having special prosecutors investigate police shootings.

Several lawmakers spoke of concerns about the fatal shooting in East Pittsburgh last year of unarmed teen Antwon Rose II by an officer who was acquitted.

A lawyer for Rose’s family has attributed the verdict to Pennsylvania’s law on the use of force by police, which he believes is unconstitutional.

A House Republican spokesman says they’re willing to discuss how to hold accountable people who abuse power, but not at the expense of unfairly burdening police.