Clergy Members Call For Midlothian Officer To Be Charged With Murder After Shooting Security Guard In Robbins

Mike Krauser
November 16, 2018 - 12:17 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Clergy members from the city and suburbs are calling for a Midlothian Police Officer who shot and killed a bar security guard who intervened in a shooting to be charged with murder.

The Midlothian Police Chief has said the shooting of Jemel Roberson was the equivalent of a blue-on-blue, friendly fire incident.

Roberson was shot to death by the unnamed Midlothian officer who responded as back-up as Roberson held his gun on a patron who had shot and wounded others in a bar in neighboring Robbins. 

Clergy members stood Friday with family member of Jemel Roberson outside the Midlothian police station.

"Jemel is speaking from the grave today," said Pastor Walter Turner. 

Pastor Walter Turner had just hired Roberson as his church organist. 

"This is just about equivalent to a hate crime. But here you can kill a black man who was saving the lives of others," Pastor Turner said. "He saved lives on that night and it bothers me that we can kill black men at the drop of a hat."

Father Michael Pfleger said the officer should be charged with murder.

"That's what is was. It was murder. This was not accidental murder, rather it was because of racial profiling," he said. "It was not blue on blue crime. It was blue on black crime.

“Jemel was on top of the offender protecting other people. Officers who were there before this officer came didn’t find it necessary to fire a gun.”

State police are investigating the case and have said the officer told Roberson repeatedly to drop his gun and said he wasn't wearing clothing identifying himself as security. Witnesses have contradicted that. 

Rev. Marshall Hatch said, “we’re not going to tolerate a cover-up, we’re not going to allow this to be swept under the rug.”