Kanye West opened his wallet to help the family of Jemel Roberson, a 26-year-old black security guard killed by a white police officer while attempting to subdue a gunman.
West donated a whopping $150,000 to the family’s Go Fund Me Page on Friday (Nov. 16), TMZ reports. The Go Fund Me account had an original goal of raising $10,000 to cover Roberson’s burial expenses. With West’s providing a large portion of the money, along with a ton of smaller donations, the page has raised more than $306,000 in the last five days.
Roberson is being praised for his heroic actions inside Manny’s Blue Room Lounge last week, when a gunman opened fire at the bar. The young musician had reportedly picked up a side job as bouncer to make extra money for the holidays. Roberson’s girlfriend, Avontae Boose, is three months pregnant with their second child.
The Midlothian Police Department has yet to release the officer’s name, or any potential body cam footage of the incident. A witness said that Roberson, who was licensed to carry a weapon, had the shooter apprehended when a police officer shot and killed him. In an apparent Facebook post earlier in the week, Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney called Roberson a “brave man who was doing his best to end an active shooter situation at Manny’s Blue Room.”
The department also released a statement offering “heartfelt condolences” to Roberson’s family. “There are no words that can be expressed as to the sorrow his family is dealing with,” Delaney said in a statement. “We view this as the equivalent of a ‘blue on blue,’ friendly fire incident.”
Roberson’s mother filed a $1 million civil lawsuit against the officer who killed her son and the police department, one day after the fatal shooting. According to an interview with The Grio, Boose’s attorney plans to file another civil lawsuit on behalf of their 9-month old son and unborn child.
The Illinois State Police is currently investigating the shooting. In a press release dated Nov. 13, the department seemingly blamed the victim, noting that Roberson was wearing “plain back clothing with no markings of anything that identified him as a security guard.”
The department also claims that the unnamed officer gave Roberson “multiple verbal commands to drop the gun and get on the ground before ultimately discharging his weapon and striking the subject.”
The shooting officer has been with the Midlothian Police Department for nearly four years. He is currently on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.
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