Fearing for Your Life is NOT Acceptable 2.0, Remember Jemel Roberson ~ VIDEO

Opinion by Philip Smith – President National African American Gun Association.

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- I am afraid I won’t have to write a commentary from scratch this month.

I momentarily thought I was going to get an opportunity to have a light hearted and spirited discussion on some basics of firearm use relating to “muscle memory” or possibly revisiting the best tool for home defense debate between “shotgun vs handgun”. I even thought about writing about men vs women trying to determine what gender is the better shooter. But all those hopes have been crushed with another black man being shot and killed while doing his job in a legal and honorable way. Jemel Roberson is a security guard who was shot and killed while doing his job protecting the public.

The story is as follows:

Roberson was working at Manny’s Blue Room Bar, in Robbins, Illinois, when security personnel asked a group of men to leave following an argument. Soon after, at least one man returned to the bar and began shooting, injuring some of the people in the bar. Security returned fire and Roberson detained the man.

Roberson “had somebody on the ground with his knee in back, with his gun in his back, like, ‘Don’t move,’” witness Adam Harris

When officers from the Robbins and Midlothian police departments arrived, one officer opened fire, killing Roberson. According to witness statements given to local outlets, the officer fired even as witnesses told them to stop.

“Everybody was screaming out, ‘Security!’ He was a security guard,” Harris said.

This hurts all of us deep down in the black community and is an attack on our “Humanity” as a people. Another good brother who won’t be able to see his life realized…no kids…no birthdays…and no future. It was all ended with one pull of a trigger.

To be balanced I understand the immense pressure Police Officers have to deal with. They arrive on scene after scene on a daily basis and they have only seconds to decide. I have a lot of friends who are Police Officers…I get it they have a really difficult job that I wouldn’t want to do. I have ongoing conversations with many, especially when speaking about police shootings. In most cases, we don’t agree but we do have enough respect for each other, to be honest and give reasons for our differing views. Mostly we “agree to disagree but not disconnect”. I say all this to say I am pro-law enforcement all the way, but the current legal system is built with some serious shortcomings that is directly affecting our community that must be addressed.

Jemel Roberson
Jemel Roberson

At this point I am tired of crying, tired of the verdicts that continually come down against us, tired of the lack of fairness in the judicial system, tired of the “marches”, tired of the riots, tired of preachers praying for peace, tired of the carefully crafted politically correct responses in print and TV by activists on either side…and yes, I am tired of being tired.

So, what do we do to stop the murdering of black men? I believe the answer is right in front of us hiding in plain sight. We need to take a step back as a community and react intelligently instead of Emotionally.

Here are my suggestions: The first is to start hiring a different type of police officer in America who is older, and college educated. Maturity combined with education produces a very different person compared to someone coming almost straight out of High School. Life experiences go a long way when interacting with the public.

The second suggestion is to pay officers a lot more than they are currently to attract the best and brightest. If you pay $30,000 to $40,000 as a starting salary you aren’t going to attract the best talent. Why not start police officers at a salary of $75,000 a year? Currently as it is set up you will get those individuals that have no other economic options and are being almost forced to take the job. That isn’t a desirable scenario for someone who will be interacting with the general public with a gun on a daily basis.

The fourth suggestion is to use our economic clout as a community. If this continues in a specific town we don’t go to those banks, stores, gas stations, utilize public transportation, hair salons, or restaurants until changes happen.

The last but the most important suggestion or strategy is to “legally challenge the foundation of the current law”. That is Tennessee v. Garner. This Supreme Court decision is currently the basis for all “justified shootings”. Tennessee v. Garner was first decided in 1985 and reinforced in 1989.

Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985)[2], is a civil case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that, under the Fourth Amendment, when a law enforcement officer is pursuing a fleeing suspect, he or she may not use deadly force to prevent escape unless “the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.” It was found that use of deadly force to prevent escape is an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment, in the absence of probable cause that the fleeing suspect posed a physical danger.

The courts have been the “legal tool” and method to change realities for African Americans in the 60’s and here again in the modern era we need to develop multiple Legal “Dream Teams” to start challenging this law as it is presently constructed in 2018. But one person can’t do it. It will truly take a collective of folks such as 2nd Amendment activists, lawyers, politicians, and the community at large….It will truly take a “Village”.

In closing we need a new standard for police and citizen exchanges. Fearing for your life is far too vague a reason for anyone to decide to kill someone else because you are scared. I can understand if that person is “physically attacking you and you have tangible evidence with your eyes and ears that he or she is trying to hurt you. Anything short of that is not acceptable.

I welcome all tough discussions and comments regarding this article at [email protected]

National African American Gun AssociationAbout National African American Gun Association (NAAGA):

The goal of the National African American Gun Association is to have every african american introduced to firearm use for home protection, competitive shooting, and outdoor recreational activities. We are a civil rights organization focused on self preservation of our community through armed protection and community building. The National African American Gun Association provides a network for all african american firearm owners, gun clubs and outdoor enthusiasts. We welcome people of all religious, social, and racial perspectives. We especially welcome african american members of law enforcement and active/retired military.

For more information, visit: www.naaga.co.

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Y’all have said it better than I can about this tragic situation. In my area it’s deemed more important for the local high school to have a $300,000 scoreboard, city hall to get a million dollar landscaping job, etc. than to hire the best and brightest for the protectors of the community. One adjoining town here starts cops at $9 an hour—-REALLY, $9. Armed security MUST be uniformed, with a radio on their shoulder—or NO armed security. Many security jobs are minimum wage 2nd jobs—or the near unemployable. If this sad type of event is to be stopped there’s going… Read more »

Mark Warren

These types of situations are always tragic. As a 27 year retired police officer I understand the police side of things but as a national trainer I also understand the impact of training, both good and bad training. While police officers receive training, what is the content and quality? In our training I purposely put students in this situation so they have seen it and have to decide the appropriate police response. We also video tape all force on force training so they are able to understand what was really occurring versus what they believed was occurring and then overlay… Read more »


If the writer of this piece had left out the word “black” as a descriptor of the victim in this incident, much of his point would fall. STOP making it an issue of skin colour. STOP referring to “our community” based soley upon skin colour or national origin. STOP referring to “people of colour” as a closed group. You are not . Tjis now-departed man’s identity is NOT in his skin colour. Stop making it out that this is an nissue. You carry on as if no white/yelow/red/purple individuals ever get shot in similar circumstances. We ALL know this is… Read more »

Charles Rice

Well stated, people know this to be the truth. People (most people in America), want this truth, want to speak out as you have on this issue. There are as many pressure’s being applied to keep this from happening. Money, Pharmaceutical Companies, Big Business, Democrat & Republican Politicians, I already mentioned money. Community and family, peer pressure this could go on forever. I know so many who think as people and not color, many fade as pressure is applied. Fear keeps this going and there are a lot of enablers who don’t ever want Americans to get along. Look around,… Read more »


Why is it assumed in these shootings being black was what got them shot? How can anyone be sure that if the guy was white he wouldnt have been shot? The only way you could be sure would be to somehow set up 2 exact scenarios and have a white guy and a black guy participate. We all know that is impossible. Even if you compare similar shootings all they are is similar. You always have different people reacting to different actions viewed through their individual eyes and interpreted by their own minds. Sometimes it is cut and dry that… Read more »

George H Foster

Under the Stand Your Ground law in Florida, there is a key element that I follow as a civilian and armed security officer. There must be a clear capability of death or serious bodily injury AND an established intent to do so to carry out an immediate forceable felony. This is not a fear of anything. Having a gun in your hand, when dealing with an LEO, would clearly require pointing it at the LEO or an actual target. Being shot in the back by the LEO would mean that the LEO was not in danger. Physical size/age differences and… Read more »

Jerry S.

This all boils down to “following the police officers orders immediately” scenario. Sad it had to end like this, but too many people think they don’t have to listen to policemen now. He may not have heard the command, but I doubt that though. He killed himself, in a manner of speaking….tragic.

Wayne Clark

First of all…was he African, or American? These hyphenated titles are more divisive than anything else. Would a white African that moved here be called African-American too? Didn’t think so. Now, as far as the story, in the video, the reporter clearly states the officer told Mr. Roberson to drop his weapon SEVERAL TIMES. I wasn’t there so I don’t know how loud the background noise was or how loudly the cop shouted…although, given the situation, I would venture to guess he shouted with authority. Whether or not Mr. Roberson heard will never be known but one thing for sure,… Read more »


Every time a citizen of this nation loses their life due to the mistakes of law enforcement is a tragedy. Law enforcement officers are human beings and like all other humans make mistakes. We ask them to be perfect or near perfect when none if us are perfect. But we need to look at this from a different perspective. All law enforcement officers are “the government”, and as such are responsible to each of us. Americans rightfully expect that their government will not abuse nor murder them, for any reason, without due process. Every day a lawfully armed citizen is… Read more »

Roy D.

A few things: Just who is this “we” you refer to that are, “being shot by our government for being armed.” I am armed if I step off my property. Just about everyone I associate with is also armed when they are out and about. None of them, or I, have been shot by the government. Again, who are these people? Trial juries are not “involved” because it usually gets no further than a grand jury. Perhaps you need to take a refresher course on the legal system in most places. Perhaps some people who carry firearms for protection should… Read more »

dave morgan

wonder why African American is used to advertise a confrontation gone against the grain..
LEO saw a ‘subject holding a gun in the back of a person while holding a person down’…What is there about that picture can we not see as “wrong”…Subject had the person in control…Why hold a gun in his back?..All this going on in LEO mind as he enters the scene…Hard to see the relationship between white subject and black subject, strong subject had weak subject on the ground, immobile…Why the gun in the back?


Fearing for your life no longer a valid reason to use deadly force?? That is the most asinine statement I’ve heard in a long time. You lost me and your credibility at the title.


Fearing for your life has become a get out of jail free card. It is a reasonable defence when it is not an EXCUSE!!!

Yeah, officer’s responding to shootings should be in fear for their lives. Does that give them the right to kill everyone in the area?!?!?!! Of course not. Now we have to do the hard work of figuring out whether the officer had bad intent or was just sloppy in their job and needs to be moved elsewhere.

Cecil Brooks

Some people are afraid of ghosts. Some are afraid of the dark. Using police officer using fear as an excuse to kill someone is about as insane as your remark. I’m not paying them to kill out of fear, i’m paying them to get trained so they don’t. So they use their brains!!!

Wayne Clark

What y’all are seeming to forget is, this security guard (according to the story) was sitting astride the BG with a gun pointed at him (I assume, the back of his head) when the officer gave his commands to drop the weapon. When he didn’t comply after several attempts, the officer shot him. Although the gun wasn’t pointed at the officer, it was pointed at a person. The officer had no idea if the security guard had gone rogue or not. All he knew was the security guard wasn’t complying, so he USED HIS BRAIN to make a judgment call.… Read more »


Every police training academy in this country needs to be shut down until the trainer’s get retrained to STOP TEACHING “SEE A GUN = SHOOT”! This is not a racism problem (in most cases), this is a deeply ingrained training problem. Cops are literally brainwashed to automatically assume that anyone with a gun is committing a crime and is a threat and to shoot first and ask questions later. They spend hours at the range or in a simulator having it deeply ingrained into their heads to automatically hyper-react at the sight of a gun in anyone’s hands, even to… Read more »


I heard in the video that the responding officer told Roberson several times to put down his gun.
Sorry, Roberson was the one in need of extra training that could have saved his life.
Tragic none the less.


I agree. An initial attempt to identify the primary role of “professional police” in the USA resulted in no obvious consensus, other than that the concept of “professional police” follows from England in the 1820s. Two interesting articles and excerpts therefrom – In police work the goal is difficult to define and even more difficult to achieve. Oversimplified, the objective is a law enforcement policy suitable to the particular community involved. (excerpt from 4th para., Fall 1965 – https://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://duckduckgo.com/&httpsredir=1&article=5321&context=jclc ) There is now a consensus among researchers, based on a definition first proposed by American sociologist Egon Bittner, that the… Read more »

William Weddendorf

The situation willnot change until Blacks look to themselves. Despite a half century of “equal opportunity”, minority hiring preferences, and enormous amounts of welfare money, it is inconceivable that there are still shrill cries of white privilege and racism. In reality, White and Black Privilege are derived from four things: (1) responsible parenting, (2) willingness to attend school and learn, (3) willingness to work and (4) making intelligent life-style choices. Statues play no role. Racial lifestyle differences are derived from Black women having legions of cash-cow welfare babies whose exotic names represent the mothers’ only interest in them – of… Read more »


When someone always makes it about RACE I tend not give a shit anymore. When I first heard the story last week I was appalled at this man’s death. His friends and family make me not even think about the story anymore. When did BLACKS become BLACK before AMERICAN. AMERICAN should come first. You only hurt your cause making EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT RACE. Getting sickening.

Roy D.

Perhaps your efforts would be better spent trying to get members of your “community” to stop committing crimes way out of proportion to their numbers. Your writing shows a serious disconnect between your stated knowledge and reality. But then what do I know? I’m just an old “white man” who has seen and done some things in the last 63 years. You and “your people” need to stop whining and start working on your broken culture and being comfortable living on the Democratic Plantation.


What does that have to do with the victim, a legal gun owner, doing his job? It’s as if someone asked you what are you doing to stop the mass shootings by “your people”? What are you doing to fix “your broken culture” so that doesn’t happen anymore? Oh, but in your case it’s only the criminal’s fault… What a ridiculous argument. You’re basically confirming that the cop shot him because he was perceived as dangerous due to the color of his skin, and that’s not the cop’s fault. He acted on his own fears and stereotypes and it’s the… Read more »

Roy D.

Why don’t you tell us where the bad man touched you? You see, I don’t have a “my peoples” outlook on life. There is right and wrong and one’s racial makeup doesn’t “color” my judgement. But keep on calling people you don’t know names. It’s what children do.


The reports of this incident I have read all suggest “a rush to judgment” and likely unnecessary use of force. But we who were not there cannot know what happened; at best it was a series of singular focused actions (“tunnel vision”) by Roberson and the police officer. I think it premature and unhelpful to read race issues into the series of events. It is a tragedy, period. Why do individuals gather in settings where emotions “fly so high” that armed security is needed to moderate their celebrations ? What level of training did Roberson and his fellow security officers… Read more »