Chicago’s south suburbs can be almost as rough as the city’s south side. A fight broke out in Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in Robbins early Sunday morning and a group of drunks were asked to leave. One of them then came back and opened fire in the bar. Four people were wounded.
Security returned fire, and according to witnesses, 26-year-old armed security guard Jemel Roberson apprehended one of the men involved outside.
“He had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move,'” witness Adam Harris said.
The security guard was Jemel Roberson, a good guy with a gun who stopped an indiscriminate shooting in the bar. Then Midlothian police arrived.
Soon after, witnesses said, an officer responding to the scene fired at Roberson — killing him.
“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard,” Harris said. “And they still did their job, and saw a black man with a gun, and basically killed him.”
Witnesses said it was a case of mistaken identity when a Midlothian police officer shot and killed security guard Jemel Roberson at a bar in Robbins. “To lose his life, in essence doing what he wanted to do, is just complete devastation.” https://t.co/LbHWeDud7Z pic.twitter.com/kMSHdVSHBX
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) November 12, 2018
It isn’t clear what, if any, verbal warnings were given to Roberson by police when they rolled up.
A spokeswoman for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office said Roberson had a valid FOID card, but did not have a concealed-carry license.
In a statement, Midlothian police confirmed two officers from the department responded to the scene of the shooting and that one of them opened fire.
“A Midlothian officer encountered a subject with a gun and was involved in an officer-involved shooting. The subject the officer shot was later pronounced deceased at an area hospital,” Chief Daniel Delaney of the Midlothian Police Department said in a statement.
Predictably as the sun rising in the east, the incident, which is still under investigation was immediately used to argue that civilians with firearms is inherently dangerous.
The good guy with a gun theory goes out the door when people arrive at a scene at different times and it’s not clear who is good and who is bad.
— Greg (@JohnWickSnowden) November 12, 2018
The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun unless he is mistaken by police as the bad guy with a gun and only more guns will fix this https://t.co/8nunEDgk0G
— Robyn Urback (@RobynUrback) November 12, 2018
“The tidy ‘good guy with a gun’ theoretical doesn’t account for the chaotic unknowns when police arrive and can’t tell a ‘good guy’ with a gun from a ‘bad guy’ with a gun.”
“Chaotic unknowns” like rank, deadly racism, for instance. https://t.co/smtU45PwGa
— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) November 13, 2018
Yesterday, Roberson’s family filed a lawsuit in federal court against the still un-named officer and the city of Midlothian.
It’s a tragedy no matter how you look at it. Roberson no doubt saved lives with his quick action in stopping the shooter. And it cost him his life when a police officer reacted to a situation he didn’t understand.