CHICAGO (CBS) — In their first official account of the police shooting that killed an armed security guard at a bar in south suburban Robbins, state police said Jemel Roberson ignored officers’ orders to drop his weapon.
The Illinois State Police account of the shooting early Sunday also contradicts witnesses who said Roberson was wearing a shirt and hat that clearly identified him as security, stating the young man was wearing all black clothing without any markings.
Police said a gunman had entered Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in Robbins early Sunday morning, and shot multiple people inside the bar. When officers arrived at the scene, Roberson was holding down a suspect on the ground outside the bar.
“A Midlothian Police Officer encountered a subject in plain black clothing with no markings readily identifying him as a Security Guard, armed with a gun in the west parking lot,” state police said late Tuesday.
Police also said witnesses said the Midlothian officer ordered Roberson, 26, to drop his gun and get on the ground before shooting him.
However, witnesses and Roberson’s attorney have told reporters Roberson was wearing a hat and shirt clearly labeled “security.”
Illinois State Police have asked for witnesses or anyone else with information on the shooting to call them at 847-294-4400, or the Cook County Sheriff’s office at 847-635-1188.
Roberson’s family has sued the village of Midlothian and the unnamed officer involved, calling the shooting unreasonable, unprovoked, and unjustified.
A small group of people went back to the bar Tuesday night to say a prayer for Roberson’s family in the parking lot.
“They say there’s footage. Where is the footage? Let due process properly take its place in terms of what happened here,” pastor Mitchell Lee Hicks said.
Robbins Mayor Tyrone Ward has ordered the bar closed as the investigation continues. He said he has been in touch with Roberson’s family.
“The question becomes what can we do as a unit? What can we do as friends? What can we do as a village to assist that family that’s going through it at this time?” Ward said.
Roberson’s attorney has said the young man was a father, and his girlfriend is pregnant with their second child.
Faith-based leaders and community activists want to start a national conversation on race and police after Roberson’s death. They are now urging people in Robbins not to shop and spend money in Midlothian until justice is served.
Clergy members in the community plan to pass out flyers about the economic boycott in the days ahead, but said they will honor any pre-existing relationships people in Robbins already have with business owners in Robbins.