I have read the poem written by Antwon Rose over many times, and I feel it truly describes how he felt during his teen years—confused and afraid. The name of the poem is actually “I Am Not What You Think” and was written to his mother almost three years ago on May 16, 2016. He talked about mothers burying their sons: “I want my mom to never feel that pain I am confused and afraid.”
If Rose was like any teenager in these times there were probably a lot of times prior to the day of the fatal shooting that he was confused and afraid. Most teens don’t give a lot of thought to the things that they do, they just do. But Antwon did not sound like that type of guy. I read several stories about him and he sounded like a great kid. People who had worked with him said he was friendly, goofy and funny. There was a post of a message that he wrote inquiring about a job opening, it was well written and he let the people know he wanted the job, and he was hired. There is another story of how he wore a three-piece suit to an interview at a playground on a hot July day. Needless to say he got that job as well. He was taking advanced classes in school and doing well but yet he was confused and afraid.
The story I couldn’t find is why he got in the car with the driver and the other passenger on June 19, 2018. Did he need a ride? Was he friends with either one? Where did he think they were headed? Please do not mistake my questions for accusations, I am the type of person that always wants to know the why and how of a story. Of course the driver can be questioned as well as the other passenger but they are going to tell their stories and may spin the story to work in their favor. Isn’t that what you would do if you were a survivor in this situation?
My mom used to often remind me of a phrase: “dead men tell no tales.” We can’t hear Antwon’s side of the story so we have to piece it together from the videos and the people who survived the events of the day. I think the police officer lacked training and from the looks of his employment history he should be in another line of work. I am not in agreement with the verdict and cannot see how you can justify shooting a fleeing person in the back. I have never bought the “I was in fear of my life” theory that you hear in many cases like this. The officer on this case, Michael Rosfeld, had only been on the job for about 90 minutes. I’m sure he was as confused and afraid as Antwon Rose. Our communities need police officers that are better trained, those without a “them vs. us” mentality.
We also are confused and afraid.