Time and time again, police across our nation continue to show us that black life is valueless. Jemel Roberson, 26, died after he was shot dead by Midlothian police as they responded to a disturbance at Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Robbins, Illinois.

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Roberson worked as a security guard for the establishment. According to reports, a group of intoxicated men was asked to leave the bar around 4 a.m. Sunday morning. The men left but witnesses say one of the men returned with a gun and opened fire.

Roberson returned fire and managed to subdue the active shooter outside the bar. With his knee and pistol resting on the back of the shooter, he waited for authorities to arrive.


“He had somebody on the ground with his knee in the back, with his gun in his back, like, ‘Don’t move,'” Adam  Harris told WGN9.

Despite Roberson taking control of the situation, the officer responding to the scene shot and killed the heroic security guard.

“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard,” said Harris.  “And they still did their job, and saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him.”

Meanwhile, the suspected shooter and four other people sustained non-life threatening injuries. Police Cheif  Daniel Delaney confirmed two deputies responded to the call and one did open fire.
A spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said Roberson had a valid Firearm Owners ID (FOID) card but did not have a concealed-carry license.

Even so, this does not negate the fact that a heroic black man was killed by police.  Described by many as a dedicated musician. Ironically he also wanted to join the police forceRev. Patricia Hill from Purposed Church, where Roberson played told WGN9, “he was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.”

“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill added.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office is handling the criminal investigation of the original shooting, while the State Police Public Integrity Task Force is investigating the police-involved shooting.  Yet this will never replace the loss of an innocent life.