CHICAGO (CBS) — Jemel Roberson’s family has said he was wearing a hat and shirt clearly labeled “Security” when a police officer shot and killed him last November, but the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said Friday there was no clothing with writing on it when Roberson’s body was brought to the morgue.
Roberson, 26, was working at Manny’s Blue Room on Nov. 11, when shots were fired after a fight broke out inside the club.
Midlothian Police Officer Ian Covey was among the officers who responded to the shooting, and he has been identified as the officer who shot and killed Roberson, as he was holding down the gunman and pointing his weapon at him in the parking lot.
According to the full autopsy reports released earlier this week in Roberson’s death, he died of multiple gunshot wounds to the back and right flank. The autopsy showed “the right side of the back had a 1/4 by 1/4 inch round entrance-type gunshot wound” and “the right abdomen/right flank had three closely spaced entrance-type gunshot wounds.”
The medical examiner’s office stated Roberson’s body was partially clad in a blue hospital gown. Accompanying the body were a pair of black boots, black pants, black belt, one black sock, a previously cut red shirt, a multicolored shirt, a black hooded sweatshirt, a black neck warmer, a black balaclava, gray pants, and gray boxer briefs.
In an email Friday morning, spokeswoman Natalia Derevyanny stated, “There was no clothing with writing on it.”
That contradicts what Roberson’s family has said about the shooting, but supports preliminary findings by Illinois State Police.
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. Another security guard at the club also said he told police Roberson was a security guard.
However, the initial Illinois State Police report on the shooting said Covey gave Roberson multiple verbal commands to drop his weapon, and Roberson was not wearing clothing clearly identifying him as a security guard.
Covey was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting, pending the results of the Illinois State Police investigation.
Roberson family attorney Gregory Kulis said the fact he was shot in the back proves he was not a threat to Covey.
Police body camera video released by the Cook County Sheriff’s office shows the chaos outside the nightclub after Roberson was shot, but does not show the shooting itself.
A very upset witness, captured on a police body camera, can be heard saying, “Your man shot my man. The police shot security.”
More irate patrons are also heard lashing out at police after the shooting.
Additional cell phone video shows bullet casings in the parking lot. The man behind the phone appears to recognize Covey from previous encounters.
“He done wrote me six or seven tickets,” he said.
The attorney representing the mother of Roberson’s child said the video released leaves more questions in what he calls the unjustified shooting of Roberson.
Fifteen released videos come from dashboard cameras, body cameras and cell phones.
Roberson was the father of a 10-month-old and had a baby on the way at the time of the shooting. His family has sued Covey and the village of Midlothian, calling the shooting unreasonable, unprovoked and unjustified.