|> Content Warning_|
This open letter talks about police brutality, violence, racism and murder. Please make sure you are in a good place before reading it <3
|> The letter|
Dear President Farnam,
I am writing to you, as a concerned student, to express my gravest disappointment in how CMU has addressed, or rather failed to address, the murder of 17-year old Antwon Rose II by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld.
It has come to light that Rosfeld was a former University of Pittsburgh police officer, where it is now known he assaulted multiple Black students over a long span of time, and omitted and lied about his use of force and violence in other unrelated incident reports. In fact, he was only fired after he assaulted the Black son of one of the university's top officials.
Rosfeld was a violent bully and a racist to boot. And yet, he remained in the UPitt police force for many years, and the circumstances that led to his firing were kept under wraps. This allowed him to then be hired by the East Pittsburgh police department, where fully 3 hours after being sworn in, Rosfeld shot Antwon Rose II three times in the back, as Antwon was fleeing unarmed, scared for his life.
Michael Rosfeld is also out on an unsecured bond. This is the first time in the history of Pennsylvania that someone charged with criminal homicide walks out of jail without bail. This is preferential treatment for, it bears repeating, a violent, racist bully.
Not only is this part of a much larger problem of white supremacy in the USA, but it is now happening in our own backyard, perpetrated by a university police officer.
It shocks me that CMU has not seen fit to issue any statement on any of these issues. There has been no assurance or transparency regarding CMU's police officers. There has been no condemnation of how UPitt handled the issue, or of the preferential treatment afforded Rosfeld. There has been no commitment that CMU has, would have, or will act differently should such an issue arise.
Silence is compliance. Silence is violence.
"I am confused and afraid" -- Antwon Rose II, in a poem written when he was 15
I am sure this line is echoing in many of your students' heads right now.