Mother of Illinois security guard shot dead breaking up fight says multimillion-dollar settlement isn’t enough

The mother of a security guard who was accidentally killed by a police officer while detaining a suspected gunman said $7.5 million would not compensate her family for his wrongful death.

Beatrice Roberson said she wanted to prosecute the officer who pulled the trigger on her son Jemel Roberson while he was doing his job at a bar in suburban Chicago.

Jemel Roberson
Jemel Roberson, 26, was shot dead by a Midlothian police officer after he downed a gunman who opened fire at the bar where he worked as a security guard. (Image courtesy of Facebook)

“The person who shot and murdered my son — he needs to go to jail,” Beatrice Roberson told CBS 2 after the community where the officer worked agreed to the multi-million dollar settlement.

“Money isn’t an issue for me,” she said. “I wanted my son”

Midlothian Police Officer Ian Covey reportedly shot and killed Jemel in the parking lot of Manny’s Bar Room in November 2018. Witnesses said two groups of people fought at the club before it escalated into a shootout. Four people were injured before Jemel stepped in and detained a man identified as the gunman before police arrived.

Another guard said Covey walked in and pointed the AR-15 rifle at him before standing on a pole and brandishing it. The other guard said he was spared because he posed as security to Covey, but witnesses said the officer ignored them when they shouted that Jemel was also a guard.

Illinois State Police said Jemel disobeyed multiple orders from Covey to drop the gun he was holding on the man he was arresting.

In October 2020, Cook County Attorney Kim Foxx “concluded that the body of evidence is insufficient to support a criminal charge against Covey.”

Prosecutors cited the autopsy report, which showed that Jemel was wearing all-black clothing with no identifying characters when his body arrived at the morgue. Foxx’s office also spoke to 100 witnesses. However, the other security guard and another witness told reporters that Jemel was wearing a hat and shirt with the word Security written on it.

The slain man’s daughter, Justice Roberson, now 3 years old, receives the settlement, which must be approved by a circuit judge. Justice was born a few months after her father’s death. Her grandmother said she started asking questions about him.

Although Beatrice said the settlement would ensure justice financially for the rest of her life, she said her family deserved an apology and accountability.

“I will never accept that as an excuse because I am a person. My son was a person,” she said. “It’s not about the money. You have to look me in the face and apologize.”
The mother has vowed to keep fighting for justice for her son.

“My son was shot four times in the back and this killer gets away?” she said. “There is no justice for Jemel.” Mother of Illinois security guard shot dead breaking up fight says multimillion-dollar settlement isn’t enough

Dustin Huang

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