Jack Lamar Roberson: 911 Call Turns Deadly For Unarmed Georgia Man

An African American man was shot dead after police responded to a 911 call for emergency medical help at his Georgia home last Friday.

Jack Lamar Robertson was suffering from an adverse reaction to his diabetes medication when his fiancé Alicia Herron called 911 requesting help. Instead of getting the emergency services response she requested, police arrived at the residence and opened fire at the 43-year-old Robertson, killing him. 

According to Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner, the officers were responding to a determined suicide threat, and when they arrived at the house, Robertson approached them brandishing two "items used as weapons," leaving them no choice but to open fire with their sidearms. So far, according to the AP, Tanner has refused to specify the specific nature of the weapons. 

Robertson's fiancé Alicia told reporters her version of the events following the shooting. She said, "He didn't have nothing in his hands at any time or period at all before they came, any time while they were here, anything. They just came in and shot him. He didn't say nothing, the police didn't say nothing, anything, it was like a silent movie."

These types of cases occur all too often, where police respond to a muddled domestic disturbance call or cry for medical help, and then show up and begin shooting. A disproportionate number of those shot while unarmed are black males.

This killing will get especially scrutinized following the police chase and shooting of a woman in D.C. with her child in the back seat as it raises specific questions related to the proper application of force and the militarization of police and American society. 

The officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave as the case is under examination by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

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Alexander de Avila

Alexander is a Political columnist at PolicyMic. He is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College's school of Government, focusing his studies on international politics and the impact of emerging technologies on government and war. He has experience working at the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and as a research assistant at TSKB in Istanbul exploring alternative energy sources.

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