Vigil Held for Chicago Bar Security Guard Shot by Cop - NBC Southern California
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Vigil Held for Chicago Bar Security Guard Shot by Cop

“Jemel saved lives that night only to lose his life," Pastor Leaundre Hill said

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    Vigil Held For Bar Security Guard Shot by Cop

    Jemel Roberson graduated from Lane Tech High School on Chicago's North Side in 2010. Friday evening friends and family gathered on campus to remember their classmate. Meanwhile, activists are calling for swift action against the officer who shot and killed him. Natalie Martinez reports. (Published Friday, Nov. 16, 2018)

    Jemel Roberson graduated from Lane Tech High School on Chicago's North Side in 2010.

    This evening hundreds gathered on campus to remember their classmate. Meanwhile, activists are calling for swift action against the officer who shot and killed him.

    Community activist Jedidiah Brown says witnesses to the shooting and the moments leading up to it need to speak out.

    “Today, I’m breaking the silence and I’m appealing to them to come on and come forward and the community will stand with them because we cannot let Jemel stand by himself," Brown said.

    Brown says he’s received videos that clarify what happened but witnesses who shot them he says are fearful.

    “Because those who have it are afraid of retaliation and the view that’s come forward is that they’ve been intimidated by law enforcement," he said.

    Roberson, 26, was working as a security guard at Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in Robbins early Sunday. While trying to subdue a suspect he was shot by a white Midlothian police officer responding to the scene.

    “Jemel saved lives that night only to lose his life," Pastor Leaundre Hill said. "So, we want answers. We want results. And we want them now."

    Illinois State Police say witnesses told them Roberson was ordered by the officer to put down his gun several times before he was shot. Midlothian’s police chief called it a “blue on blue shooting” and a tragic case of friendly fire.

    Others have disputed that.

    This morning dozens of clergy, community activists and family members gathered in Midlothian demanding the firing of the unnamed officer.

    “And they need to charge him with murder," said Rev. Michael Pfleger. "That’s what it was. It was murder."

    Again, this evening former classmates and supporters of Roberson held a vigil here at lane tech and released balloons. Meanwhile, the police officer, a 4-year-veteran, remains on administrative leave.