A co-worker of the security guard who was fatally shot by a white police officer while working at a suburban Chicago bar said he never heard the officer order the victim to drop his gun.
Just hours after the Illinois State Police released a statement Wednesday saying witnesses have told investigators that the officer ordered security guard Jemel Roberson to drop his gun before opening fire, fellow security guard Dorian Myrickes made his statement.
Myrickes, who was shot in the shoulder, spoke on the phone with The Associated Press while still recovering in the hospital. In the conversation, he revealed he clearly heard several people shout at the officer that Roberson — who was holding a suspect at gunpoint when the police arrived — was a security guard.
Police were responding to a gunfight early Sunday at in Robbins that injured four people, including Myrickes.
In its release, state police said Roberson was wearing "plain black clothing with no markings readily identifying him as a Security Guard." However, Myrickes said all the security guards at Manny's Blue Room wore knit hats emblazoned with the word "Security" on them and that Roberson wore a black sweat shirt with the word "Security" on the back of shoulder. But he also acknowledged that it's possible the officer could not see the white lettering from where he was standing.
Myrickes was one of six security guards working at the bar at the time, but he is the only one so far to come forward publicly to discuss what happened. A bar patron also told reporters earlier that he heard people yelling at the officer that Roberson was a security guard.
Looking out the door, Myrickes said he "could see Jemel had one guy face down, asking him to put his hands behind his back" when he saw the officer point his weapon at Roberson.
"I never heard the cop demand him to do anything, (but) everybody was telling him (Jemel) was security."
Myrickes also noted that none of the other responding officers opened fire.
On Tuesday, a Chicago alderman called for Cook County prosecutors to investigate the fatal shooting of Jemel Roberson.
“Here is a security guard who is subduing a suspect,” but the officer “just sees a black man with a gun and kills him,” Alderman Keith Price said.
The officer's name has not been released. He is on paid leave.
Myrickes, 43, said the initial shooting at the bar stemmed from a fight between two groups of people. When the security guards tried to separate them and lead them out separate doors, "Somebody came back and opened fire," Myrickes said.
(Photo: CBS 2 Chicago)