Kanye West has donated $150,000 (approximately £117,000) to the family of the security guard who was killed by police last week.
Jemel Roberson, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer while working his shift as a security guard at Manny’s Blue Room in Chicago in the early hours of the morning on Sunday November 11.
The 26-year-old was reportedly attempting to diffuse a situation where a gun fight had broke out, when the police arrived and saw him standing over the aggressor.
Officers from Midlothian Police Department were responding to reports of shots fired just after 4am when they arrived at the bar.
According to Fox32, Jemel was restraining a man responsible for shooting four other people at the bar and was holding him down on the floor.
Witnesses say the 26-year-old was waiting for police to arrive while holding the man on the ground with his gun pointed at his back. He was licensed to carry the gun as part of his job.
However, when police arrived at the scene they are said to have ignored people’s shouts that Jemel was a security guard diffusing the situation and shot him dead, an attorney for Roberson’s family said on Monday.
Shortly after Jemel’s death, a GoFundMe account was set up to cover the costs of his burial expenses. A target was set of $150,000.
The page reads:
Jemel Roberson was a young man who was greatly loved by all who knew him. He was the light of his mother Beatrice’s life, and was a devoted loving son. Jemel was a gifted basketball player and musician, and his love for God and his family were at the forefront of his life. Sadly, Jemel’s life was tragically and unexpectedly cut short this morning as he tried to save others from senseless violence. Today, many remember him as a hero; one who put others before himself.
To honor Jemel’s memory, a GoFundMe account has been started in hopes of collecting donations that will cover his burial expenses. For those who can donate to help the Roberson family in this tremendously difficult time, your generosity is greatly appreciated.
According to TMZ, Kanye West heard about Jemel and was deeply moved by what had happened. As such, he wanted to help in any way possible.
He then donated 10 lots of $15,000 to the GoFundMe page, totalling $150,000 therefore donating the entirety of the family’s target. The page has now received more than $300,000 and keeps rising every day.
The person running the account posted an update, saying:
Update: Once again, thank you for your generosity! The money that has been raised has gone far beyond the original goal. This will greatly support his family’s needs during this tragic time.
Jemel, a father to a nine-month-old boy, was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to a hospital after the shooting on Sunday morning.
According to CNN, the family’s attorney Lee Merritt said the security guard had been working extra shifts to pay for his son’s first Christmas.
Members of the community can’t comprehend why Jemel was shot, particularly because the family’s attorney stated he was wearing a hat with ‘security’ emblazoned across the front when he was shot and witnesses say police ignored people’s shouts that Jemel was a security guard diffusing the situation.
However, Illinois State Police – who are looking into the death of the security guard – describe the events differently.
They said in a statement:
According to witness statements, the Midlothian Officer gave the armed subject multiple verbal commands to drop the gun and get on the ground before ultimately discharging his weapon and striking [the security guard].
Midlothian Police have not identified the officer responsible, saying only that he is a white male who has worked with the department for approximately four years.
Police Chief Daniel Delaney told CNN that the officer is currently on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the state police investigation.
You can donate to Jemel’s burial GoFundMe here.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).