- CBS Chicago
- Chicago authorities released 15 videos this week showing the frenzied aftermath of the fatal police shooting of 26-year-old Jemel Roberson, a black security guard at a nightclub.
- Witnesses and authorities have said that Roberson had apprehended a suspected gunman at the club, when a Midlothian police officer opened fire.
- The Midlothian Police Department has called the shooting a “friendly fire” incident.
- Videos show Roberson’s distraught colleagues shouting at the police officers and sheriff’s deputies, trying to explain what happened.
- “Your man shot my man. The police shot security. That’s what happened,” one security guard said. “We out here with f—ing vests on, and we getting shot. F—ing stupid.”
Chicago authorities released 15 videos on Monday showing the frenzy that ensued after a local police officer fatally shot a black security guard outside a nightclub last November.
Jemel Roberson, 26, was gunned down as he tried to pin down a suspect who had allegedly opened fire inside the Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in Robbins, a Chicago-area suburb.
The officer who fatally shot Roberson was identified last month as Ian Covey of the Midlothian Police Department.
Roberson’s mother, Beatrice Roberson, has sued the Village of Midlothian and Covey, alleging that her son’s shooting was “unprovoked,” “unjustified,” and “excessive and unreasonable.”
The videos, which the Cook County Sheriff’s Office released, showed that as Roberson’s body laid in the parking lot, his colleagues at the nightclub desperately tried to explain what had transpired to the officers at the scene.
“Your man shot my man. The police shot security. That’s what happened,” one security guard said, amid a crowd of onlookers. “We out here with f—ing vests on, and we getting shot. F—ing stupid.”
Another man can be heard demanding the name of the officer who shot Roberson. Yet another man can be seen simply screaming expletives and the word “no” in despair.
A Cook County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman told INSIDER in a statement that the office released the videos after receiving requests under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
“The Sheriff’s Office has determined that under state law, and in the interests of transparency, these videos are now releasable to the public,” Chief Policy Officer Cara Smith said.
She added that while the department was investigating the initial gunfire that broke out inside the nightclub, the Illinois State Police was responsible for investigating Roberson’s death.
The 15 videos include an array of dash cam videos from police cruisers, body cam videos of officers trying to calm down Roberson’s colleagues and the crowd forming around them, and cellphone videos from bystanders.
- The Chicago Tribune/Zbigniew Bzdak via Getty Images
One of the videos shows Roberson’s colleague explaining to a sheriff’s deputy how the incident unfolded. He said before the officers arrived at the scene, Roberson had drawn his own weapon to help secure the suspected gunman.
“He had his gun still out holding the offender on the ground,” the guard said. “My officer here, he tells him to drop his gun – I’m telling him, ‘He’s working with us. Cool out. He’s working with us.’ He shot him four or five times after we told him he’s with us.”
Later in the video, one of the sheriff’s deputies can be heard trying to calm the guard down and telling him to “keep your head on straight.”
“My man just died, bro. What the f— man,” the guard responds.
Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney said in November that he viewed the shooting as “the equivalent of a ‘blue on blue,’ friendly-fire incident.”
“What we have learned is Jemel Roberson was a brave man who was doing his best to end an active shooter situation at Manny’s Blue Room,” Delaney said. “The Midlothian Police Department is completely saddened by this tragic incident.”