mannys blue room lounge


Black security guard who stopped bar shooting killed by police arriving on the scene

'They basically saw a Black man with a gun and killed him,' said one witness.


Alex Dalbey


Posted on Nov 12, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 1:53 am CDT

A Black security guard was killed by police this weekend as he was apprehending a suspected shooter at his workplace.

Around 4am on Sunday, a group of drunk men was reportedly told by security to leave Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Robbins, Illinois. According to witnesses, one of them returned with a gun and opened fire. Security shot back, and 26-year-old security guard Jemel Roberson was able to apprehend one of the men involved with the shooting outside the bar. One witness told WGN TV that Roberson had the suspect pinned on the ground with a gun to his back.

Soon after, police arrived to respond to the shooting. One of the officers, who has not yet been identified, fired on Roberson, killing him. “Everybody was screaming out, ‘He was a security guard,'” witness Adam Harris told WGN TV. “And they basically saw a Black man with a gun and killed him.” Authorities have so far released few details about the shooting.

Roberson was known among friends for his musical talent and played drums and keyboard at various churches in the Chicago area. “Every artist he’s ever played for every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” Rev. Patricia Hill of Purposed Church told WGN TV. She also said Roberson had been hoping to become a police officer, and remarked on the sad irony, saying, “The very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.”

People have been responding to the news with cries for justice, as well as perspective. People often argue that armed security will make places safer, but Roberson was literally killed for being armed security. This complicates the idea often touted by anti-gun-control conservatives that a “good guy with a gun” can effectively stop a shooting.

The State Police Public Integrity Task Force is currently investigating the police shooting of Roberson, while local police are investigating the shooting that Roberson stopped.



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*First Published: Nov 12, 2018, 11:34 am CST