Illinois Authorities Say Police Officer in Fatal Shooting of Black Security Guard is a White Man

Eric Russell speaks as protesters rally for Jemel Roberson, Nov. 13, 2018, outside the Midlothian Police Department. Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS/Getty Images

Police in Midlothian, Illinois said the officer involved in the fatal shooting of armed security guard Jemel Roberson is a white man and described Roberson’s tragic death as “the equivalent of a ‘blue-on-blue,’ a friendly-fire incident.”

The officer who shot Roberson has been with the Midlothian Police Department for nearly four years and had three years of prior service with another agency, Chief Dan Delaney said in a statement Wednesday.

Roberson is a black man.

“The Midlothian Police Department is completely saddened by this tragic incident and we give our heartfelt condolences to Jemel, his mother, his entire family and his friends,” Delaney said in the statement. “There are no words that can be expressed as to the sorrow his family is dealing with.”

The officer, who is assigned to the patrol division and a team leader on the regional SWAT team, is currently on paid administrative leave, per standard policy, Delaney said, pending the outcome of an investigation by the the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force.

He has not yet been publicly identified.

A little after 4 a.m. Sunday, police in Robbins called for assistance from additional area police departments as it responded to a call about a shooting at Manny’s Blue Room Bar, according to Midlothian police.

Midlothian police said two of its officers went to the bar to help Robbins police. When officers arrived, Midlothian police said, they learned there were several gunshot victims inside the bar.

A Midlothian police officer encountered Roberson, 26, of Chicago, a security guard at the bar, authorities said. He was in a parking lot outside the bar, trying to subdue a suspect in the shootings, witnesses told Illinois State Police investigators.

In a report on its preliminary investigation released Tuesday, Illinois State Police, which is handling the police shooting, said Roberson was dressed “in plain black clothing with no markings readily identifying him as a security guard.”

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SOURCE: ABC News, Enjoli Francis