Racism can be deadly. Sorrowfully enough, just because it’s 2018, that fact hasn’t vaporized. As the United States continues to grapple with issues of racism pushed from the highest levels of government, outside an Illinois bar this past weekend, a police officer shot and killed a black security guard because they thought he was an assailant.
The officer did not seemingly endeavor to ascertain the identity of the person they shot — Jemel Roberson — before they pulled the trigger. Roberson was not actively threatening to make a scene; in his capacity as a guard, he was simply focusing his aggression on one particular person who was an actual assailant in the whole incident.
The tragic night began after security at Manny’s Blue Room Bar asked a group of drunken patrons to leave around 4 A.M. One of the men came back and opened fire, and Roberson worked to subdue those involved, pinning one of them to the ground as police arrived on the scene. He ended up the only one sustaining life threatening injuries that night, as a police officer again used their position to jump right into committing actual murder. No matter what does or doesn’t come of this incident in terms of actual consequences for the officer involved, they killed someone who did not remotely “deserve” to die. That’s a fact.
Witness Adam Harris told local news:
‘Everybody was screaming out, ‘He was a security guard.’ And they basically saw a black man with a gun and killed him.’
Reverend LeAundre Hill from the local Purposed Church added:
‘Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later.’
The incident is hardly the first to unfold recently in the United States in a similar manner. In a high profile case in 2016, for instance, a Minnesota cop pulled over Philando Castile, who notified the officer that he had a gun and was trying to work to handle the possible tension in a smooth manner. However, within a ridiculously brief amount of time, the since fired cop unloaded his weapon into the innocent black man, killing him on the spot.
The examples could go on and on. The “Black Lives Matter” movement has served as a rallying cry for those concerned with the preventable deaths of black Americans at the hands of authorities.
When it comes to accountability in the Illinois death of Jemel Roberson, local media reports that the State Police Public Integrity Task Force is looking into the shooting.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, although they’re certainly not all police instigated, there have been 1,844 and counting police officer involved shootings in the United States since January 1 in which the suspect was shot or killed.
The Trump administration has dialed back the federal government’s hand in redirecting errant police departments, but there remain plenty of voices concerned about the ongoing situation anyway. No matter how many angry tweets the president posts slamming protesters, the reality remains in the United States that black Americans face a danger from police officers.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video