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Security guard’s mom vows to ‘fight for my son’ after cop who shot him is ID’d

Beatrice Roberson on Saturday said she and her family will get justice for her slain son. | John Booz/For the Sun-Times

Beatrice Roberson on Saturday said she and her family will get justice for her slain son. | John Booz/For the Sun-Times

The mother of a slain south suburban security guard vowed Saturday to “fight until I die” as she seeks justice for her son Jemel Roberson, who was shot to death last fall by a Midlothian police officer.

“I’m going to fight for my son,” Beatrice Roberson said outside Manny’s Blue Room Lounge in Robbins, the site of the fatal Nov. 11 shooting. “It’s time to put my feelings to the side, my grieving to the side for a minute, because I need to fight for my son.”

She filed an amended lawsuit on Friday naming Ian Covey as the officer who fired the fatal shots — and whose identity had been kept under wraps since Roberson’s death.

Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney later confirmed Covey, a four-year veteran of the department, was the officer who killed Roberson while the 26-year-old was working as a security guard.

Delaney had previously declined to release the officer’s name, as did Illinois State Police, the agency investigating the officer’s use of force.

“For two months, Mrs. Roberson has asked me, ‘Greg, who shot my son?’ ” family attorney Gregory Kulis said. “For two months they have told us, ‘We’re not going to release the name.’ That’s not transparency.”

Beatrice Roberson on Saturday said she had been “too messed up” since her son’s passing to speak about him publicly.

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Shedding tears as she spoke through the wind and snow steps away from where her son was killed, Beatrice Roberson said Jemel had dreams of one day becoming a police officer.

“I never thought that my son would get killed by somebody that he wanted to be,” she said.

The night Jemel Roberson was killed, he had helped subdue a gunman who shot four people at the club at 2911 S. Claire Boulevard.

Covey, who is white, went to the scene to help local police but ended up opening fire on Roberson, who is black.

Delaney has called it a tragic instance of “blue-on-blue friendly fire.”

“I want justice for my son,” Beatrice Roberson said. “I want this officer put away.”

Covey is on administrative leave from the department while state police investigate. He couldn’t be reached for comment on Saturday.

Kulis called Jemel Roberson a hero who saved lives.

“If a young man shot a police officer, that young man’s picture would be on the TV tonight,” Kulis said. “I don’t know what race played in the mind of Officer Covey. What race may have played in his mind, that’s a question he’s going to have to answer.”

Contributing: Associated Press