A GoFundMe campaign set up for the family of a black security guard who was fatally shot by an Illinois police officer has raised more than double its $150,000 goal, in large part thanks to apparent donations by rapper and Chicago native Kanye West.
Jemel Roberson, 26, was an armed security guard at Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Midlothian, a southwestern Chicago suburb.
Roberson was shot to death on Sunday, Nov. 11, while trying to restrain a suspected gunman in the bar’s parking lot. He was wearing “plain black clothing with no markings readily identifying him as a security guard,” Illinois State Police said in a preliminary investigation report released Tuesday.
The GoFundMe campaign was created on the day Roberson died with a goal of $150,000. But as of Saturday afternoon, it had raised more than $305,000. The largest donation came in 10 increments of $15,000 each by a user under the name of Kanye West.
West and his representatives did not immediately respond to requests to confirm the donations.
Midlothian police were responding to calls of a shooting at the bar when they found Roberson in the parking lot. In a statement released on Tuesday, Illinois State Police said that Roberson ignored commands to drop his gun.
Greg Kulis, attorney for the Roberson family, said witnesses were yelling at the officers, telling them that Roberson was a security guard, when the officer aimed his gun and shot Roberson.
Midlothian police called the incident “the equivalent of a ‘blue-on-blue,’ a friendly fire incident.”
The officer’s name has not been released, and he is currently on paid administrative leave. Kulis and a local pastor are calling for the officer to resign or be terminated.