'This was homicidal policing': Controversy grows after Midlothian cop shoots security guard Jemel Roberson

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A group of demonstrators protested Tuesday outside the Midlothian Police Department following the police shooting of a night club security guard.

A group of demonstrators protested Tuesday outside the Midlothian Police Department following the police shooting of a nightclub security guard.

"This was not reckless policing, this was homicidal policing," said activist Eric Russell.

Activists called the shooting racist.

The Midlothian police officer who fatally shot Jemel Roberson, 26, at Manny's Blue Room in Robbins early Sunday has not been identified.

RELATED: Family files lawsuit after nightclub security guard shot by Midlothian police officer

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Jemel Roberson, a 26-year-old bouncer at Manny's Blue Room in Robbins, was fatally shot by Midlothian police.



Illinois State Police, who are investigating the shooting, released a statement for the first time Tuesday. In it, they said Roberson was "in plain black clothing with no markings readily identifying him as a Security Guard" and said he was "armed with a gun in the west parking lot."

State police said witnesses told them the Midlothian police 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 subject."

State police said officers at the scene provided medical assistance to all shooting victims, including Roberson. The statement said the investigation into the officer's use of force is ongoing. They asked witnesses or anyone with knowledge of the shooting to contact Illinois State Police at 847-294-4400.

A Tuesday night village board meeting was abruptly canceled when trustees didn't show up. Five of the six trustees were not present.

"Without a quorum, there will... there cannot be a meeting," said Mayor Tyrone Ward.

With no trustees there, there was no one to hear residents' concerns.

"I just want to know where we're going to go from there? Honest to God's truth, where do we go from here?" said Alisia Chambers, Robbins resident.

The shooting is being investigated the by the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force, but an online petition, which is steadily gaining signatures, calls for the Illinois Attorney General to investigate the officer, a four-year veteran of the department who has been put on administrative leave.

"Police departments when they investigate their own...the investigation may not be as independent or unbiased as it needs to be," said Kelsey Bourgeois, who started the petition.

"I know that they are very experienced, and they have high integrity in what they do," said Robbins Police Chief Roy Wells of the Public Integrity Task Force.

A spokesperson for the Illinois Attorney General's office did not return our request for comment. That petition also calls for the firing of the Midlothian officer and for his name to be made public.

Before the shooting, the Midlothian police officer was called to assist Robbins police, who were called to the bar after reports of gunfire.

Roberson had apparently detained a gunman who had fired shots in the bar.

The officer -- possibly unaware Roberson was a security guard -- shot him when he saw that he had a gun.

Midlothian police Chief Daniel Delaney said he's waiting for the Illinois State Police to finish their investigation, but for now, issued a statement saying that Roberson was a brave man who was doing his best to end an active shooter situation

RELATED: Midlothian police officer shoots bouncer at Robbins nightclub

Delaney said the department is sadden by the tragic incident and extended condolences to Roberson's family and his friends.

Roberson was an accomplished gospel musician who was hoping to become a police officer.

The case has attracted national attention.

Former Robbins resident and Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade tweeted about the shooting on Tuesday: "Speechless! Even after hearing he was one of 'the good guys' he's still shot like his life doesn't matter! A man that was doing his job to protect the lives of others and protect the town he lived in. I grew up streets away from Mannys Blue Room in Robbins this hurts my heart. "

An attorney for Roberson's family said that regardless of race, the shooting was unjustified shooting. The family has filed a lawsuit.

Related Topics:
shootingshots firedpolice-involved shootingRobbinsMidlothian
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