Crusader Staff Report
The fundraiser, which is raising expenses for Roberson’s burial and his family, has exceeded its $150,000 goal, raising over $313,569 in seven days.
According to GoFundMe page, West made separate donations of $15,000 on Saturday. He has not publicly commented about the donation as of Sunday morning.
As protests and vigils for Roberson continue, Manny’s Blue Room remains temporarily closed while an investigation by the Cook County Sheriff’s office is underway.
On Tuesday, November 13, a preliminary report by the Illinois State Police, citing witnesses, said that the Midlothian police officer gave “multiple verbal commands” to Roberson to drop his gun and get on the ground before he fatally shot him.
The preliminary report also said that Roberson was wearing plain black clothing that did not identify him as a security guard.
The report contradicts Roberson’s family who said that Roberson was wearing a hat that had “security” printed on it. The lawyer has also said witnesses told him several people called out to the officer that Roberson was a security guard.
On Monday November 12, Roberson’s family filed a federal lawsuit, saying the shooting was “unprovoked” and “unjustified.”
Roberson’s family has hired prominent attorney Greg Kulis, who was selected to the Super Lawyers designation in 2017.
“Jemel was trying to save people’s lives,” Greg Kulis told ABC 7. “He was working security. A shooting had just taken place inside the establishment. So he was doing his job and holding onto somebody until somebody arrived. And a police officer, it’s our feeling, didn’t make the proper assessment and fired and killed Jemel.”
Questions still remain as to why a Midlothian officer shot and killed Roberson, who was working as a security guard at Manny’s Blue Room on Sunday, when police from multiple agencies in the south suburbs responded to reports of shots fired.
The Midlothian police officer who shot Roberson was a seven-year veteran of the department. His name was not released but he was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
News reports said the shootings started with an argument inside the bar. Witnesses said security had asked several drunk men to leave the bar, and at least one person returned and opened fire. A bartender was among those victims hit by gunfire according to the lawsuit. Witnesses said Roberson “had somebody on the ground … with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘don’t move.’”
Midlothian police said the responding officer shot Roberson after he saw him with a gun. Witnesses say Roberson was trying to do his job as a security guard, but he was shot anyway.
“Why? Why did you kill him?” his cousin Candace Ousley asked on Chicago’s ABC 7. “It doesn’t make sense. The police officer just saw a Black man,” Ousley said. “I believe if he was indeed white, he’d be alive.”
Friends and family are remembering Roberson, 26, as a protector and a hero who grew up in Wicker Park. Relatives said he had recently become a father and wanted to become a police officer.
“If anyone would mess with me or anything he would step up. He was more of a brother than a friend,” said friend Angelina Markin.
The shooting has sparked outrage in the south suburbs, where some say the incident is just another a case of racial bias.
“He got his life took by people he looked up to, who he wanted to become,” Ousley said.
Four other people were shot, all sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The sheriff’s office also said at least one of those wounded was considered to be a shooter, who is now in custody