Updated Oct. 9, 2:15 p.m. EDT: Jack Lamar Roberson’s family has taken the first step toward legal action in the fatal shooting of the allegedly suicidal man and have been in contact with an attorney, although no formal arrangements have been made, The Root has learned.
It may be a long battle, with both sides sticking adamantly to their story. Roberson’s family insist he did nothing wrong and was simply having a bad diabetic episode while the police are saying that they were being threatened.
According to the Waycross Police Department Incident Report by an officer who arrived later on the scene, Roberson had a two-prong meat fork and another “black-handled kitchen utensil” near his head. The utensil was not idendtifed fully since it was partially hidden by a shoe. The officer also observed a broken chair.
The report reiterated the story the police have maintained, which is that Roberson approached the officers in a “threatening manner” before “lunging” toward them, which resulted in the officers firing their weapons “to protect themselves” and ultimately killing Roberson. Roberson’s family denied this account, saying the man was unarmed when he was killed.
(The Root) — Another day, another controversial incident between police and a black man shot and killed by them.
This time, in Waycross, Ga., the family of Jack Lamar Roberson say they witnessed cops shoot him while he was unarmed with his hands up, while the police say he was brandishing two weapons.
On Friday, Oct. 4, Alicia Herron, Roberson’s fiancee, called 911 out of fear that he was suicidal after taking medication for his diabetes. “I thought he might have taken too much,” she told the Florida Times-Union. She asked for an ambulance, but instead two officers arrived at the residence where Roberson was with Herron; their 8-year-old daughter, Zophia Roberson; and Jack’s mother, Diane Roberson. The Waycross Police Department say they showed up when they received a report that there was an attempted suicide and that Roberson was becoming combative, according to First Coast News.
What happened next is where both sides have two starkly different stories.