Police Saw Armed Black Man With A Gun And Shot Him. He Was A Security Guard

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Written by Ann Brown

So far this year, Black men are 20 percent of people killed by police. Count Chicago resident Jemel Roberson among the victims. Roberson was actually doing his job as an armed security guard when a suburban Chicago police officer fatally shot him.

Police were responding to a shooting at a bar where Roberson, 26, was working security. Earlier in the evening, Roberson had ousted several unruly patrons at Manny’s Blue Room bar in Robbins, Ill. One of those drunken partons returned with a gun and shot four people.

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“Roberson, who was armed at the time, returned fire, grabbed one of the men, held him down and waited for police to arrive, according to witnesses,” CNN reported.

Roberson “had somebody on the ground … with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move,’ ” Adam Harris, a witness, told WGN-TV.

The police officer called to assist, opened fire on Roberson.

“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard … and they still did their job, and saw a Black man with a gun, and basically killed him,” Harris said.

The Illinois State Police said in a statement that it is investigating the shooting. It added that according to witness statements, “the Midlothian Officer gave the armed subject multiple verbal commands to drop the gun and get on the ground before ultimately discharging his weapon and striking the subject.”

The statement also said: “The Midlothian Police Department is completely saddened by this tragic incident and we give our heartfelt condolences to Jemel, his family and his friends. There are no words that can be expressed as to the sorrow his family is dealing with.”

Roberson’s mother has filed a lawsuit that lists the unnamed Midlothian officer and the village of Midlothian as defendants. The suit seeks damages of more than $1 million.

“Jemel was trying to save people’s lives. He was working security because a shooting had just taken place in the establishment,” the family’s attorney, Gregory Kulis, told CNN affiliate WLS.

Demonstrators march around AT&T Stadium ahead of an NFL football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants in protest of the recent killings of two black men by police, in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018. Botham Jean and O’Shae Terry were fatally shot by police in North Texas earlier in the month. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill of Purposed Church told WGN.

At the time of the shooting, Roberson had a Firearms Owners’ Identification Card.

Roberson was the father to a 9-month-old son with a second child on the way. He was also a gospel musician at several churches, and played the organ at his church.

Ironically, Roberson wanted to join the police force and planned to take a police exam in March.

“The very people that he wanted to be family with took his life,” the Rev. Hill said.