Illinois State Police Report Contradicts Witness Accounts Of Jemel Roberson Shooting
Jemel Roberson was killed protecting patrons at a bar in Illinois.
The Illinois State Police has released a report on the killing of Jemel Roberson, a security guard at an Illinois bar who was protecting patrons from a man with a gun but was shot by a police officer.
The report claims that an officer told Roberson to drop his gun before fatally shooting him.
According to witness statements apart of the police report via NPR, the officer, who was from a nearby village called Midlothian, gave Roberson “multiple verbal commands to drop the gun and get on the ground before ultimately discharging his weapon and striking the subject.”
The organization also claimed that Roberson was in “plain black clothing with no markings readily identifying him as a Security Guard.”
However, some people who witnessed the incident and have spoken to the media about it gave accounts that were different from the police report.
Jakia Woods, who lives close to Manny’s Blue Room — the bar in Robbins, Illinois, where the shooting took place — said that officers on the scene had asked Roberson to release the suspect. He complied but another officer entered the bar through a back door.
“Before [Roberson] could get up off of him, the officer comes flying out this door gun up,” Woods said. “He says, ‘Get on the ground,’ and before he says ‘ground,’ he fires the first shot.”
“Everybody is screaming and hollering,” she said. “Even the officers were screaming and hollering, ‘He’s one of us. He’s one of us. He’s a security guard. He works here.'”
Dorian Myrickes, another security guard at the bar, told the Associated Press he never heard the officer order Roberson to drop his gun.
“I never heard the cop demand him to do anything, [but] everybody was telling him [Jemel] was security,” Myrickes said. Myrickes also said that all the security guards were wearing knit hats with the word “Security” on them and that Roberson wore a black sweat shirt with the word “Security” on the back of shoulder. However, he added that it’s possible the cop couldn’t see the lettering from where he was from.
The officer’s name has not been released. He is on paid leave. It’s unknown if any camera footage of the shooting exists.
Attorney Gregory Kulis filed a civil rights lawsuit seeking more than $1 million for the shooting. HE is representing Roberson’s mother, Beatrice Roberson.
“He was retained to do a job, and he did his job well,” Kulis said. “He probably saved some people’s lives.”
Daniel Delaney, the police chief for the Midlothian Police Department, called Roberson a “brave man who was doing his best to end an active-shooter situation” in a statement posted on Facebook
“The Midlothian Police Department is completely saddened by this tragic incident and we give our heartfelt condolences to Jemel, his family and his friends,” Delaney wrote.
Roberson died at the age of 26. He and his girlfriend, Avontea Boose, are expecting their second child, which they were waiting to announce to his family prior to his death according to the Grio.