CHICAGO (WLS) -- As President Donald Trump signed an executive order on police reform, the family of Robbins security guard Jemel Roberson, who was fatally shot by a Midlothian police officer, is still waiting for justice.
The executive order is Trump's first attempt at an agenda of reform initiatives after the murder of George Floyd, 46, by a Minneapolis police officer. The ceremony took place in the Rose Garden after the president met with the families of eight victims of police violence.
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"I have just concluded a meeting with incredible families, incredible families, who have just been through so much," Trump said, "The families of Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Antoine Rose, Jemel Roberson."
Roberson was 26 years old when he was working as a security guard at a Manny's Blue Room Bar in Robbins in 2018. There was a shooting inside the bar, and Roberson subdued the suspect as police were called. When Midlothian police responded, they shot and killed Roberson.
"I let the families lead the way and tell their stories," said attorney Lee Merritt on the meeting with the president. "There were eight families represented in total during the meeting, and that represents more than the entire country of Germany killed in one year. And that's just one office, just a fraction of my cases. This is an American pandemic, genocide. It's important. I hope he begins to see the gravity of that."
Jemel Roberson's mother did not go to Washington, but said reform is simple.
"They have to be accountable for what they have done, they have to give an account, they just can't get away with it," said Beatrice Roberson, mother. "There are too many policeman getting away with murdering somebody."
The president apparently listened intently, but his executive order did not well on solutions others have called for including better cultural and use-of-force training. Instead, it calls for nationwide development of a certification process for police departments using a set of "best practices," including on use of force; a database to track excessive force complaints against individual officers; and it creates incentives for programs where social workers are sent out with officers on mental health-related calls.
The announcement of the order was done in front of a crowd heavy on law enforcement, and the president spoke glowingly of America's police in his remarks.
"Mr. Trump promised each of the families that he would have a review of pretty much every case that was introduced to him today," Merritt said. "Again, that's exceptionalism that these families may get federal review, but it's about policy that we are assured this kind of thing won't happen."
The order requires action within 90 days, a timetable that dovetails with congressional bills being brought by Senate Republicans and House Democrats.
Family of Jemel Roberson, Robbins security guard killed by Midlothian cop, waits for justice as Trump signs executive order
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