Crusader staff report
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office recently released videos that show the scene after police shot and killed 26-year-old Jemel Roberson outside Manny’s Blue Room in Robbins, IL last November.
The video footage was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by WLS ABC 7 Chicago.
In one of the videos, a swarm of police can be seen arriving on the scene where the shooting occurred. Another video shows the altercation that apparently led to the gunfire. That video shows people pushing each other and at least one man being dragged outside.
Roberson was a security guard who subdued a man after he fired gunshots inside the bar. Midlothian Police Officer Ian Covey arrived on the scene, then shot Roberson several times. Roberson died from his injuries.
Illinois State Police described the events differently in the days after the incident. The initial findings from Illinois State Police, which is investigating the officer’s use of force, suggested that Roberson was not wearing anything that identified him as a security guard.
“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 security guard, police said in a statement.
The shooting sparked outrage among Black leaders and residents who have led protests, demanding that he be fired.
But one released video shows a distraught security guard wearing a black security vest telling police “Your man shot my man. The police shot security. That’s what happened.”
In another video, the security says “He (sic) working with us, cool out. He’s working with us. “(Covey) shot him four or five times. After we told him he’s with us.”
The distraught guard also says, “Did he not see us with vests on, bro? Why would I have a vest on, bro? This (expletive) ain’t for fun.”
After fuming for several minutes, one sheriff’s deputy pulls him aside and quietly urges him to “man up” and help authorities understand what happened.
“If this was bogus, we want the (expletive) to be held accountable,” the sheriff’s deputy says. “If what you’re saying is true, you got to have the (sic) good head on your shoulders, bro. You gotta make yourself a credible witness, not a hostile witness.”
The family of Roberson last November filed a $1 million lawsuit, on behalf of Roberson’s mother, Beatrice Roberson. Attorney Gregory Kulis said Roberson was dressed in black but wearing a hat with the word “security” when he was shot.