We have another instance of an unjust shooting of a black man by police. Early on November 11, Jemel Roberson, a 26-year-old security guard working a bar in Chicago, responded to an active shooter on the premises. Roberson and other members of the security detail returned fire and Roberson detained the man. Here’s what happened next.
According to witnesses, Roberson kept the shooter on the ground with his knee in the man’s back. He had his gun pointed at the man. He told the man not to move.
Local police mobilized from the Robbins and Midlothian police departments. Upon arriving at the scene, one officer began to open fire on Roberson. Witnesses yelled for them to stop.
“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security! He was a security guard!'” said witness Adam Harris to local news outlet WGN. (h/t Vox)
Still, Roberson was killed by the gunfire. Illinois State Police is arguing the officer in question had given multiple verbal commands for Roberson to lower his gun before firing. Nonetheless, he has been placed on administrative leave.
The main conflict over the story involves how long the officer waited to fire on Roberson and if the officer could have identified Roberson as a security guard. Lawyers representing Roberson’s family say he was wearing a hat with the word “security” on it, and witnesses say they were calling out that Roberson was on duty. The police are arguing the officer only fired after Roberson didn’t respond to commands.
Another security guard, Dorian Myrickes, says he did not hear any commands from the police officer. “I never heard the cop demand him to do anything. Everybody was telling him Jemel was security,” he told the Associated Press.