It’s been more than a week since a Midlothian police officer shot and killed Jemel Roberson in the parking lot of the suburban Chicago nightclub where he worked as a security guard. Despite calls from Roberson’s family and Black leaders for justice, officials have refused to identify the officer.
Eventually, the names of officers in these cases come out—whether through official channels or via social media. Yet officials continue to go through this routine.
A NewsOne call on Monday to the Midlothian Police Department resulted in a runaround about information on a possible timeline (and departmental procedures) for identifying the officer’s name. And the city’s attorney did not immediately return a call requesting that same information.
We’ve seen this before. Social media sleuths revealed Amber Guyger’s name—the Dallas officer who killed Botham Jean in his own apartment in September. And in Sacramento, civil rights attorney John Burris announced the names of the two officers who killed Stephon Clark in March.
Attorney Lee Merritt, who’s representing the mother of Roberson’s child, believes he knows why the police have concealed the officer’s name. Officials are giving the officer time to wipe his social media presence clear of personal damaging information and “to hide evidence,” the civil rights lawyer told USA Today.
“They refused to release Amber Guyger’s name, which gave her a chance to scrub the internet and hide evidence,” he added. “It’s exactly what’s going on here.”
Merritt vowed to release the name of the officer if the Midlothian police don’t do it.
Roberson, 26, was doing his job when a police officer mistakenly killed him in the early morning hours on Nov. 11.
The armed security guard had apprehended a suspect whom investigators said fired a weapon inside the bar. A white Midlothian police officer, responding to a report about gunfire, shot and killed Roberson.
The Illinois State Police, which conducted the initial investigation, released findings on Nov. 13 that contradict reported witness statements. It claimed Roberson wore plain black clothing without any markings to indicate that he was a security guard.
Contrary to the police version, witnesses and Roberson’s attorneys said that Roberson was wearing a hat and shirt with the word “security” emblazoned on them when the officer killed him.
In the report, officials said the officer issued multiple warnings for Roberson to drop his weapon that was pointed at the suspect. However, the report omitted that witnesses yelled to the police officer that Roberson was a security guard apprehending a shooter.
“He had somebody on the ground with his knee in his back, with his gun in his back like, ‘Don’t move,’” witness Adam Harris told WGN-TV. “Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard. And they still did their job, and saw a Black man with a gun, and basically killed him.”
Roberson was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead from multiple gunshot wounds.
He was a church musician and the father of a 9-month old son named Tristan. The child’s mother is currently pregnant with their second child, according to a statement from Merritt Law Office.
Kim Porter, Model And Mother Of Diddy's Children, Dies
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R.I.P to Kim Porter, I send my condolences to her friends and family. She was loved and will be missed dearly. I know Puff is hit right now, he loved her for real, soul mate type shit. Chin up puff, Positive vibes only. pic.twitter.com/bck6eDal0M— 50cent (@50cent) November 15, 2018
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RIP Kim Porter.— deray (@deray) November 15, 2018
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Really trying to wrap my head around this news of Kim Porter’s death. My heart aches for her babies.— Christina Coleman Mullen (@ChrissyCole) November 15, 2018
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I’m so shocked to hear that Kim Porter has died. So young, so beautiful, so sweet. Wow!— Donnie Simpson (@DonnieSimpson) November 15, 2018
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I just heard the sad news about Kim Porter. My condolences to Diddy and Kim's families. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/JkFfk1lDXN— Wendy Williams (@WendyWilliams) November 15, 2018
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My prayers go out to Quincy, Christain, and the girls. I can't even imagine what they're going through right now.— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) November 15, 2018
RIP Kim Porter.
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Praying for Kim Porter’s kids. This is crazy. 🙏🏾😢— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) November 15, 2018
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So sad. Kim Porter was elegance personified, grace and dignity always. RIP to her. Everlasting prayers to the family and loved ones.— NOT VAN JONES BUT VAN LATHAN (@VanLathan) November 15, 2018
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Yo man.... heart goes out to the family https://t.co/XXsO3W7Cag— 1/20 Soulquarianseason/Eviction Notice (@questlove) November 15, 2018
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This is so heartbreaking😥 Lord please give her kids & her whole family strength 😥🙏🏾https://t.co/vJprHqw0ZZ— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) November 15, 2018
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My lord... please pray for this family! This hit me so hard.... 🙏🏽🙏🏿🙏🏾 https://t.co/WNnnk0u4jc— Kojo Ebro (@oldmanebro) November 15, 2018
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RIP Kim Porter smh— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) November 15, 2018
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RIP Kim Porter smh— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) November 15, 2018
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I didn’t know Kim Porter like that but a quick Google search would tell you that she’s more than Diddy’s ex and baby mama.— April (@ReignOfApril) November 15, 2018
Yet... let most media outlets tell it... 😒
And before you do the “That’s how she was best known...” crap, she was a model when Diddy met her, right? 🤔
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I admired Kim Porter and how she raised her kids, stayed so connected with @Diddy they were a wonderful model for how you make things work post break up. My God what a tremendous loss for all who loved her and her poor babies. My heart breaks for them. 🙏🏾😥— Danielle Moodie (@DeeTwoCents) November 15, 2018
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RIP Kim Porter. What a kind, nice person. Devastating loss. Love to Puff and their children.— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) November 15, 2018
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R.I.P. Kim Porter 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿 prayers up for the family— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) November 15, 2018
Who Killed Jemel Roberson? Cop’s Name Kept Under Wraps As Family Demands Justice was originally published on newsone.com