Wednesday , June 23 2021

The guard was shot by a "hero" by a policeman indignant of demonstrators; mom wants justice

The mother of a security guard who was fatally shot by a police officer outside the southern suburban bar said she did not know if the police mistook her son for being a shooter in a bar shooting.

"I do not know if it was a mistake or not," said Beatrice Roberson in a short interview Tuesday, two days after her son, Jemel Roberson, died.

But she added, "I want justice to be done."

The incident took place after the shooting of four injured people at Manny & # 39; s Blue Room Tavern in Robbins early in the morning on Sunday. A Midlothian police officer who arrived at the scene to help the local police, threw a gun at Roberson, an armed guard who jumped himself in action in response to the bar shooting in the bar a few minutes earlier.

Roberson, 26, a Lane Tech graduate, lived in Homan Square on the West Side. He was black.

The officer who shot him is white, the chief of police in Midlothian Dan Delaney noted in a statement issued on Tuesday. The statement did not include the name of the officer or any other details. The officer was on administrative leave, the police officer confirmed on Tuesday.

Eric Russell of the Tree of Life Justice League of Illinois, runs a demonstration outside the Midlothian Police Department Tuesday to protest against the shooting of Jemel Roberson on Sunday. | Leslie Adkins / For the Sun-Times

Eric Russell of the Tree of Life Justice League of Illinois, runs a demonstration outside the Midlothian Police Department Tuesday to protest against the shooting of Jemel Roberson on Sunday. | Leslie Adkins / For the Sun-Times

Lack of detailed information about the incident that attracted national attention caused criticism of the department. Twenty demonstrators marched in front of the Midlothian Police Department on Tuesday afternoon, demanding "Justice for Jemel."

"He is a hero to us, we are absolutely outraged by his execution," said activist Eric Russell. "This is similar to Jason Van Dyke, how is it that a reacting policeman from a neighboring community gets out of a car with burning guns?

He said Robbins lives in Nathson Fields: "Jemel did his job, he did what he needed, he saved human life and they just threw him out."

The meeting of the village council of Robbins was canceled on Tuesday evening when there were not enough trustees.

Robbins Mayor Tyrone Ward said the Blue Room Manny was temporarily shut down because of the investigation, although he noted that the village had no major problems with the bar in the past.

"From time to time there were fights and brawls, just like in any other bar or club," Ward said.

He lamented the involvement of the external officer.

"I would like it to be one of our boys [from the Robbins Police Department] who encountered this situation because they could have been more familiar with security, "Ward said.


• A federal lawsuit against Midlothian in the deadly shooting of the bodyguard of the bar
• A security guard shot by an officer who responds to shooting suburban bars
• MITCHELL: Kill the Security officer with the victim of an irrational "fear of black men"?

The Cook County sheriff's office is investigating the initial shooting. At least one of the wounded was declared a gunner and remained in custody on Tuesday, spokeswoman Sophia Ansari, said.

Researchers were still trying to get the video material. Two security cameras appeared outside the club, although the sheriff's office refused to comment on internal surveillance.

Illinois police are investigating the use of force by an officer. Roberson had a valid FOID card, but he did not have a hidden license, the authorities said.

The Cook County medical office stated that Roberson died of numerous gunshot wounds and issued a death sentence as a homicide.

Roberson's mother filed for the murder demanding excessive force, and her attorney, Greg Kulis, said the bodyguard was dressed in black and wore a hat during a shootout that said "security."

Illinois State Police released a statement on Tuesday saying Roberson was "in plain black clothing without any markings, easily identifying him as a bodyguard," according to their preliminary investigation. Officer Midlothian gave Roberson "a lot of verbal instructions to drop a weapon and get to the ground before the final discharge of the weapon," state police say.

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This picture provided by Avontea Boose shows her child Tristan Roberson and the boy's father Jemel Roberson. The police officer had fatally shot Jemel Roberson, an armed bodyguard who wore a hat with the word "protection" in front and held the man on his feet after shooting in a suburban bar in Chicago, where the guard worked, said the guardian's family Monday, November 12, 2018, after filing a federal lawsuit. (Avontea Boose via AP)

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Jemel Roberson and his son Tristan Roberson. | Avontea Boose by AP

"He is a bodyguard!"

When the police arrived at the scene, Roberson held "someone on the ground with his knee in his back, with a gun in his back", witness Adam Harris said WGN-TV.

"Everyone is shouting:" He is a guard! "- said Harris.

Another bodyguard at the bar said the Midlothian officer had jumped into the bar and waved his rifle before escaping outside and deadly shooting Roberson, said Kulis.

Kulis said the survivor had told him that the officer had pointed his rifle at him until he shouted at him that he was a guard.

"Just then he jumped off the bar, waving a gun and ran out the door," said Kulis, who refused to identify the second bodyguard.

Kulis also repeated witness testimonies that Roberson was holding another man in front of the bar when an officer arrived and shot him.

This suit applies to excessive force from a Midlothian police officer and says that the shooting was "unprovoked" and "unjustified".

Kulis said he is trying to collect information about a white officer who said he came to the Midlothian department four years ago from another department and is a member of the SWAT team

Midlothian issued a statement that stopped apologizing.

"The Midlothian village and its police department would like to extend heartfelt condolences to the Jemel Roberson family," said Nick Valadez, a lawyer from Midlothian.

Valdez refused to comment on the color. The police department in a separate statement on his Facebook page calls Roberson "a brave man who did what he could to end the active situation in the Blue Room Manny & ego."

On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois condemned the shooting death.

"Working as a security guard when black should not be a death sentence," said Karen Sheley, an ACLU clerk in Illinois. "In this case, the police were more dangerous to him than the active shooter he did
seemingly subdued. "

"In this case, the assumptions of the police officer regarding Mr. Roberson, apparently under the influence of prejudices, and not an unequivocal assessment of the situation, led to a tragedy," she said.

In the parking lot where Jemel Roberson was killed. | Mitch Armentrout / Sun-Times

In the parking lot where Jemel Roberson was killed. | Mitch Armentrout / Sun-Times

On Tuesday, the beloved ones marked the place where Roberson was shot in the parking lot of the club with candles pronouncing his name. On the keyboard of a toy piano placed by candlelight, a message appeared: "Gracie now with the best of the best".

"He was an organist and a loving son," said Beatrice Roberson. "He played in different churches, a good person, a hard-working person, he loved his family, a church person."

Reverend Marvin Hunter said that Roberson was a "decent young man" and a promising keyboardist in his church and several others in the area.

Roberson tried to "collect enough money for a deposit in a new apartment," said Hunter, uncle Laquan McDonald, a black teenager who was fatally shot by Van Dyke in 2014.

Roberson, the father of the baby, also hoped that one day he would be a policeman, as his son's mother claims.

"This is the first Christmas of my child with his father, and now he will miss everything," said Avontea Boose.

The GoFundMe website has been launched to help cover the costs of Roberto's burial and to help his family.

Contributing: AP, Sam Charles

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