CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago church leaders are calling for the white Midlothian police officer who shot and killed a black security guard to be fired.
The officer who shot 26-year-old Jemel Roberson has been placed on paid administrative leave, as Illinois State Police investigate the shooting. He has been with the Midlothian Police Department for four years, and before that was an officer with another department for three years.
Rev. Michael Pfleger and other pastors will meet at the Midlothian Police Department at 10 a.m. on Friday, demanding the officer be fired immediately. Pfleger also has said the officer should be charged with murder.
Roberson, an armed security guard at Manny’s Blue Room Lounge, in Robbins, was holding down a shooting suspect outside the bar early Sunday morning, when the officer shot Roberson.
Illinois State Police have said the officer had given Roberson multiple verbal commands to drop his weapon, and Roberson was not wearing clothing clearly identifying him as a security guard.
However, witnesses and Roberson’s family attorney have said he was wearing a cap and shirt labeled “security,” and that people at the scene told the officer Roberson was a security guard.
“All I know is Jemel was doing his job, and he was doing what was right,” said Roberson’s friend, Tywond Hamilton.
According to published reports, another security guard at the bar said the officer shot Roberson less than five seconds after telling him to drop the gun.
A witness who worked at the bar told CBS 2 the shooter who opened fire in the bar appeared intoxicated. However, the bar’s liquor license expired in September.
State officials said it’s up to local authorities to make sure bars are properly licensed.
Roberson’s friend, Tywond Hamilton, wants several parties held accountable.
“From the bar owners, to Robbins, to Midlothian; from the top down,” Hamilton said.
Meantime, a vigil for Roberson has been planned for Friday night at Lane Tech High School, Roberson’s alma mater.