Witnesses are coming forward about the killing of Black security guard Jemel Roberson, who was shot by a police officer at a south suburban Chicago bar early Sunday.
The 26-year-old was on duty at Manny's Blue Room Lounge in Robbins, Illinois, when a gunman opened fire, The Chicago Tribune reports. Roberson apprehended the suspect and was shot and killed by a police officer who arrived at the scene. The guard, who was licensed to carry a gun, did so for work.
According to CNN, Roberson was only on duty the night of his death because he was working extra shifts to ensure his 9-month-old son, unborn child and partner would have a nice Christmas.
Law enforcement officials claim Roberson had nothing to identify him as a security guard. The Tribune reports Roberson family attorney Greg Kulis claims Roberson was wearing a cap and sweatshirt with the word "security" on them. Kulis is filing a lawsuit alleging several witnesses screamed at the officer to let him know Roberson was a security guard, but the officer didn't listen.
Dorian Myrickes, who was also working security that night and was wounded by the gunman, supports this claim. He also alleges the police officer gave Roberson a quick warning and barely gave him five seconds to respond before starting to shoot.
“The first shot goes in [Roberson’s] leg,” said Myrickes. “[The officer] waves the gun across the bar, everybody’s like, ‘Whoa, whoa,’ and then [the officer] shoots [Roberson] again. I saw Jemel get hit a second time in the side.”
Myrickes further claims he heard a Black officer rebuking the offending one before he passed out.
“One cop, Black cop with glasses, he said, ‘Man, you didn’t have to do that, you didn’t have to do that. We know these guys. We told you they’re security,’” recalled Myrickes.
According to USA Today, Roberson's family is demanding the name of the police officer responsible for his death be released. Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt is representing Avontea Boose, the mother of Roberson's son, and has threatened to release the officer's name if officials don't do so.
Merritt is also representing the family of Botham Jean, who was shot to death in his home by an off-duty officer in September.
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