After an extensive and thorough review of the police-involved shooting resulting in the 2018 death of Jemel Roberson, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) has concluded that the totality of the evidence is insufficient to support criminal charges against Midlothian Police Officer Ian Covey.
“While this conclusion may not be the result that many have hoped for, I can assure you that this investigation was conducted with the highest level of scrutiny by prosecutors in my office's Law Enforcement Accountability Division and the Illinois State Police Public Integrity Task Force,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
The Law Enforcement Accountability Division (LEAD) of the CCSAO is made up of veteran prosecutors who review investigations and prosecute police officers charged with criminal offenses and determines whether filing criminal charges is appropriate.
The scope of this investigation included interviewing over 100 witnesses and evaluating critical physical evidence and information surrounding the events. Additionally, after the CCSAO investigation was complete, a secondary review of the CCSAO investigation was conducted by the Office of the Illinois State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor (ILSAAP). ILSAAP agreed with the State’s Attorney Office’s conclusion that no criminal charges are appropriate to be filed against the police officer in this incident.
“I am acutely aware in this age of civil unrest that police-involved shootings are viewed under a microscope, as they very well should be. The death of Jemel Roberson is tragically heartbreaking, and while it might feel to some people like justice was not served here, I have both an ethical and legal obligation to make charging decisions based on the law and the evidence,” said Foxx.
Foxx continued: “When I took office in December 2016, I pledged to make our work transparent and to restore integrity to the criminal justice system as we seek justice for communities across Cook County, and we will continue to do so. In part of this commitment to transparency, we have posted to our website about how our office came to the conclusion not to prosecute this case.”
Foxx and her team have been meeting with the Roberson family regularly since the incident to ensure the family was kept up to date with the investigation’s progress.
The Illinois State Police conducted the initial investigation into the shooting incident on November 18, 2018, however, the State’s Attorney’s Office is the agency responsible for making criminal charging decisions under Illinois law for incidents that occur in Cook County.
Additional information regarding the review and decision of the case is available on the CCSAO’s website.