CHICAGO — Family, friends and the community at large gathered Saturday at the House of Hope in Chicago's Pullman neighborhood to pay their respects and say their goodbyes to Jemel Roberson, the security guard killed by a Midlothian police officer.
Earlier this month, Roberson was working as armed security at Robbins Lounge when shots rang out. Roberson returned fire and was detaining one of the shooting suspects when he was fatally shot by an unidentified Midlothian police officer who responded.
Investigators say Roberson was not wearing any clothing that identified him as an officer. That version conflicts with what witnesses have been telling reporters since the shooting happened.
At Saturday's services, some people wore shirts that said "Security" and "#JusticeforJemel," while others wore their security uniforms, even people who didn't know Roberson personally, like Ricky Ortiz.
"Some of us just got off work. Some of us are going to work right after this. We’re just hear to show this family some respect and show this family that security does care about each other," Ortiz said.
Roberson was a father to a young son, and had another child on the way. He served as a musician for several churches and he wanted to be a Chicago police officer.
"Jemel wasn’t a suspect. He wasn’t a bouncer. He was a Christian man working his security job and unfortunately got shot by the people he was trying to be," said friend Michael Reynolds, II.
In the days since his death, Roberson's family has filed a lawsuit against the Midlothian Police Department and there have been protests calling for the officer's firing.
"We deserve to know the name of the police officer and we also challenge Kim Fox to do her job. We don’t necessarily trust the police to police the police, and therefore, an investigation on the part of the Illinois State Police is not going to clear the air," said Rev. Marshall Hatch, The Leaders Network.
“When this is over, we’re going to make sure this young man gets justice as he rightly deserves," family friend Rev. Walter Turner said.