August 9, 2020

This black security guard stopped a mass shooting. Then police shot him dead


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By: Llowell Williams From Care2

Earlier this month, a group of four drunk men were asked to leave a bar in Robbins, Illinois, in the early morning hours. Upset about being ejected, one of the men retrieved a gun and began firing at the bar’s patrons. Fortunately, the gunman didn’t kill anyone — thanks to a fast-acting bar security guard, Jemel Roberson, who managed to subdue the man on the ground.

That’s when local police arrived on the scene.

Witnesses say Roberson had the gunman face down on the ground, his knee in the man’s back and his own gun pointed at the man. Police officers, with their own firearms in hand, immediately focused on Roberson.

A group of bystanders, including patron Adam Harris, shouted to the officers that Roberson was a security guard. Roberson was wearing a sweatshirt and a hat, which both had “Security” printed on them.

Another security guard, Dorian Myrickles, says one of the police officers ordered Roberson to drop his gun, but “not even five seconds” later he opened fire. At just 26 years old, Roberson died at the scene.

Myrickles recalls hearing an officer berate the man who shot Roberson: “’Man, you didn’t have to do that, you didn’t have to do that. We know these guys. We told you they’re security.’”

After the recent mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, this could have easily become a repeat incident. However, thanks to the quick work of Roberson and his fellow security guards, the gunman failed to take any lives. Indeed, his community and the nation would now be celebrating his bravery, if it were not an impulsive police officer.

, who was near the bar when the shooting occurred, says the officer “didn’t give [Roberson] any chance to identify himself, he just started shooting. I think it was more out of fear. You know what I’m saying? Just fear.”

What happened in Robbins is just the latest example of police needlessly using lethal force against innocent black men. At this point, it’s abundantly clear that policemen — at least, some of them — possess a fear of people of color and reflexively respond by rapidly escalating these types of encounters.

However, this is not an attitude or behavior that exists in a vacuum. A common thread between these types of incidents is how police departments deal with the situation, usually by defending the responsible officer. In this case, the official police report has disputed certain witness details, including claiming that Roberson was not wearing clothing identifying him as security.

The unidentified officer involved in the shooting death of Roberson has been described as white, and he reportedly used a rifle, possibly an AR-15. His police department says he is currently on administrative leave.


Beatrice Roberson, Jemel’s mother, says she does not yet know whether or not what happened was a “mistake or not,” but she wants justice for her son’s death. Given the lack of details being released by the , however, community members are understandably concerned about the outcome of the current internal investigation.

Add your name to this Care2 petition to stand with the community of Robbins, Illinois, in seeing that an unbiased investigation be carried out. If a wrongdoing was committed by a member of the Midlothian Police Department, that officer must be held criminally responsible!

Concerned about an issue? Want to raise awareness about an injustice? Join your fellow Care2 users by learning how to make your own petition and make your voice heard today!

: The All-Nite Images/Flickr


Demand Justice for Black Security Guard Hero Shot Dead by Police in Illinois!
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  1. Thanks for sharing such an important piece of information. Really Appreciated.

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