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One Year After Security Guard Jemel Roberson Was Shot Dead By Midlothian Police, Family Wants To Know Why Officer Hasn't Been Charged

CHICAGO (CBS) -- It was one year ago Monday that a police officer shot and killed a security guard who was on duty at a south suburban nightclub.

As CBS 2's Jim Williams reported, the security guard's family wants to know why no charges have been filed against the officer.

At Millennium Park on Monday, Jemel Roberson's family and friends shouted his name to remind the public what happened one year ago.

Jemel Roberson
Jemel Roberson, 26, was shot and killed at Manny's Blue Room Lounge on Nov. 11, 2018. A Midlothian police officer shot Roberson while responding to a shooting at the bar. Witnesses said Roberson, a security guard at Manny's, was holding down the gunman from the initial shooting. (Photo supplied to CBS)

On Nov. 11, 2018, Roberson – who was armed – responded to shots fired at Manny's Blue Room, a nightclub in Robbins.

"A loving child; a great man of God; a person that loved people; a protector," said Roberson's mother, Beatrice.

Roberson was protecting patrons as an armed security guard when he was shot to death by a Midlothian Police officer.

Attorney Lee Merritt, representing Roberson's family, said Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx's office tells him the office still has witnesses to interview. That is not an adequate answer, Merritt said.

"Over a year later, not making an indictment decision is painful for this community," Merritt said. "It adds to the burden for this mother and this family, so we are not satisfied."

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An autopsy showed Roberson had been shot four times in the back and side.

People at Manny's Blue Room that night said he was subduing a suspect when the officer fired, even as they shouted to police that Roberson was a security guard.

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 Midlothian police Officer Ian Covey gave Roberson multiple verbal commands to drop his weapon, and Roberson was not wearing clothing clearly identifying him as a security guard.

Roberson family attorney Gregory Kulis said in May that the fact Roberson 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."

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.

"It's been a horrible year for me," Beatrice Roberson said.

A State's Attorney spokesperson said, "We are currently reviewing the matter."

Covey was placed on paid administrative leave soon after the shooting. CBS 2 was unable to reach Midlothian police to find out his status Monday.

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