Teen Shot By Cop Said In Poem: ‘I Want My Mom To Never Feel That Pain'

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Seventeen-year-old Antwon Rose was running away from the police when he was shot in the back at least three times.

UPDATE: As it turns out, Antwon Rose — the 17-year-old unarmed black boy who was gunned down by police in Pennsylvania this week — wrote poetry, and in one piece, he expressed fear of being killed.

His poem was dated May 16, 2016, and detailed some of his vulnerable thoughts.

The piece reads:

I AM NOT WHAT YOU THINK

I am confused and afraid

I wonder what path I will take

I hear there is only two ways out

I see mothers bury their sons

I want my mom to never feel that pain

I am confused and afraid

I pretend all is fine

I feel like I am suffocating

I touch nothing so I believe all is fine

I worry that it isn’t though

I cry no more

I am confused and afraid

I understand people believe I am just a statistic

I say to them I am different

I dream of life getting easier

I try my best to make my dream come true

I hope that it does

I am confused and afraid

The harrowing lines that stand out above the rest are, “I see mothers bury their sons. I want my mom to never feel that pain.”

Those who knew him personally — including Kimberly Eads Ransom, his former supervisor at the gym where he once worked — took to social media to describe the young man they knew him to be.

"His smile earned him instant love by kids and parents," wrote Ransom. "He was friendly, goofy and fun. ... chasing my kids with pool noodles and jumping on the trampoline."

She added: "He had big plans and dreams and was a people pleaser. My favorite memory of him is when he showed up in a full suit in the sweltering heat for his gym job interview. I hired him on the spot."

For anyone who may be telling themselves that Rose brought this tragedy upon himself by running from the police, let the words of his poem from two years ago serve as insight into what he was likely thinking in the moments before his death and what so many other black men, women, and children feel when they encounter the police — confused and afraid.   


An unarmed black teenager was shot by the police in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Antwon Rose, 17, tried to flee a traffic stop when police officers shot him in the back thrice. He couldn’t survive.

The teenager was sitting in the passenger seat of a car being driven by a 20-year-old man. The police officer pulled over the car at a traffic stop after it matched the description of a vehicle that fled an earlier shooting. While police detained the driver, Rose and another person who was with them in the car jumped out and started running.

That’s when the police officer brutally killed him – adding to the list of several police encounters that resulted in taking away lives of people of color.

A bystander who videotaped the violent encounter did not understand why the police had to shoot the black teenager. “Why are they shooting?” said the person who recorded the shooting. “All they did was run, and they’re shooting at them.”

In the footage, both the people who were running can be seen falling to the ground after being shot.

According to the Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough, Rose was unarmed but the officers found two guns in the car he fled from.

The police officer who opened fire at Rose was reportedly sworn in the police department just hours before the shooting incident. He has not been named and has been placed on leave.

It is pertinent to note that Rose was not armed and hence wasn’t posing any threat to the cops or anyone else around. He probably got scared of the cops.

The driver who was taken into custody was released after being questioned by the police. No charges were pressed against him. Several agencies are investigating as people call for a justification for the teenagers killing.

According to Gisele Barreto Fetterman, who is the wife of the mayor of Braddock, Pa., Rose volunteered at her organization. She recalled him as a polite individual who was always willing to help.

Rose was a student at Woodland Hills High School. People in his school were naturally outraged at his untimely death. “He was an excellent student,” said school superintendent Al Johnson. 

“Everybody loved him here. He was very mature,” said Kim Ransom, who employed Rose at the Pittsburgh Gymnastics Club.

People on social media were outraged at the police for killing Rose.

In 2017, police killed 1,129 people, of which 27 percent were African Americans, even though they make up just about 13 percent of the total U.S. population.

Thumbnail/Banner Image:Reuters

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